Whether we realize it or not we teach
our children about money every day. Sometimes we teach
with words and sometimes with actions. I’m sure
at one time or another the following scenario as happened
to you or something close to it: “Mom, can we
go buy some toys?” You say, “We don’t
have the money for that right now.” Your children
reply, “Just go to the ATM and get the money.”
You then make a comment to the effect, “There
has to be money in my account in order to get money
from the ATM.” I still remember the first time
I had that conversation and my children’s jaws
dropped. It never occurred to them that you had to have
money in order to get money out of the ATM machine.
They just saw the ATM as the cash machine – Free
money. Don’t we all wish that was true!
Let me share with you another conversation
we had in my house. We were giving out allowances and
we always give it to them in change, so they can take
their offering to church. My son said, “Why, do
we give money to church anyway?” My daughter quickly
piped up, “Because, the Bible tells us to.”
She is accurate that the Bible instructs us to give
to church, but there is a better explanation. (For the
record, I don’t like using because the Bible says
so – we need to teach our children about the reasons
God gives us instructions and his promises in the Bible.)
We give money to church, because God owns everything
anyway. All that we have has been given to us from Him
and he owns it all. We are only giving a small portion
back to thank Him for the bounty he has given us. So,
we give the church a praise offering for what God has
graciously given us.
Many people have different views about
money. Some don’t want to tell their children
anything about how much they make and how they pay bills.
They don’t want their children to know that and
see that as private. Some people give their children
way too much information and then children worry if
things are tight. I think there is a middle ground.
How are children going to learn to spend money wisely
if we don’t show them? I think it is important
for you to share with children how things were in the
lean years of your family. That maybe right now. Many
children today, when they become adults, want to start
out where their parents ended up. They don’t see
all the difficult times that led up to where their parents
are now. Share with your children in age appropriate
ways how to spend and save money. Teach your children
how to compare prices and shop for a bargain. I have
seen many teenagers over the years and I’m amazed
at when they start spending their own money for clothing
all the sudden Wal-Mart doesn’t look so bad anymore,
instead of the high priced stores they want parents
to spend their money.
In conclusion, what and how are you
teaching your children about money? Do they know that
God is in control? Do they see you giving to church?
Do they even know how bills are paid? Maybe you are
saying, “I have been a poor manager of money,
who am I to teach them?” We are all learning and
God is gracious to help us when we make mistakes. He
can help you know what to say and how to teach your
children about money. Ask God to help you manage your
money wisely and set a good example for your children.
© 2005 Kimberly Chastain
About the Author
Kimberly Chastain, MS, LMFT is the Christian Working
Mom Coach and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.
She was recently featured in the book the Myth of the
Perfect Mother. She is the author of “Help My
Preteen/Teenager is Driving Me Nuts!!!” To purchase
a copy of this e-book please visit www.kimberlychastain.com/parenting.
To schedule a free, initial coaching session send an
email to firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit http://www.christianworkingmom.com.
Feel free to make comments on this article at the Christian
Working Mom Blog, http://kimberlychastain.com/my-journal.
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