Sure we love them, but sometimes our kids can really drive us crazy – especially when it comes to money!
Our friend’s daughter inherited a pretty large chunk of change right before she was ready to leave for college. Steve assumed, because he was a good businessman, he had imparted all of his financial wisdom to his daughter. He thought to himself those years of educating her would help her to make wise decisions with this sizable sum.
But, one super-cool car, and a closet full of new clothes later, it was gone. In two short years! He was totally surprised and thoroughly furious. Unfortunately, their relationship went out the window with the money.
Here’s why our kids money habits drive us nuts:
1. They want it NOW
Delayed gratification does not come naturally – it has to be learned. Hundreds of ads, their friends, and social media are telling them “why wait?”
2. They view money differently than you
People who view life differently than you are frustrating and confusing to be around and our kids are no different. Did you know that God gave them a different way of viewing money than you? I know that seems strange to hear but it’s true. Each of us has a God-given perspective of money and you won’t be able to convince them that your way is better. Recently we were talking to a mom and she said,
“I have 4 children…all of them handle money well but one….she is sooo frustrating.”
We poked and prodded and found out that her one daughter has TOTALLY Opposite Money Personalities than her mom. We told her that her daughter isn’t wrong; it is just that her daughter is different. The mom picked up a copy of our latest book, The 5 Money Conversations To Have With Your Kids, and had her daughter take one of the free Money Personality Assessments and wrote us the next day to say this:
“Thank you so much for helping me understand my daughter, I believe that knowing why we are opposite will help our relationship and my understanding of her for the rest of our lives”.
WOW! We were pumped! Be sure to know each of your children’s Money Personalities. It will change the way you parent each child for the rest of your life…we promise.
3. Don’t have “life” experiences to tell them differently
The reason we don’t make as many mistakes, as adults, is because our life experiences taught us not to.
What can you do about it? Here are 3 tips:
1. Teach them delayed gratification
Be sure to say “no” from time to time and make them earn money to make a big purchase.
2. Learn their Money Personalities
Have them take the Kids Money Personalities Assessment (ages 5-25). You get a code to 5 free assessments in our latest book The 5 Money Conversations to Have With Your Kids.
3. Give them “life” experiences
Kids love to hear about your life experiences. When you are talking to them use sentences like: “when I was young” or “I remember when” or “one of the mistakes I made.” This makes you more “real” to them. Kids don’t want to disappoint their parents and when they hear what mistakes you made and what you learned from them, it opens their ears to listen and their hearts to connect.
Let’s go back to the story we started with. What if they had sat down, just briefly, and shared their expectations about this money and talked about ways to spend it? Steve could have reminded her, “You need this money to get you through college. Your life as a young professional will be so much easier if you graduate without any student loans.” To which she might have responded, “I know I need to be smart with this money, but I want to have some fun with it too.”
Both of their expectations were completely realistic and had her interests at heart. Compromise could have saved a lot of money and their relationship. She could have paid for college AND had some fun with it.
It may not always be easy, but if we set expectations, know their Money Personalities, and teach through life lessons, when it comes to these and other money decisions, we can reduce the amount of fighting and stress in our parent/child relationships.
Have you heard of someone who blew his or her inheritance or where “expectation setting” would have helped? How are your Money Personalities different than your child’s? What “life” lessons have you learned? We would love to hear about them in the comments below.
Taylor & Megan Kovar
The Money Couple