If you have been working hard to get out of debt, you know how great it feels when one of your bills is marked – PAID IN FULL. While that was an amazing feeling, something else actually provided me even more satisfaction. Knowing that I was teaching my children how to handle money has meant so much more.
As we all know, children are little sponges. They soak up everything we see and do — from language we may use (including those words we wish they would not repeat) to how we pay for our groceries. When I watch my children play grocery store, they play with play money. That may not sound like much, but my daughter’s cash register came with a credit card and my kids don’t even know what it is. They don’t know how to use it as they don’t see Mom or Dad using it.
It isn’t even just how to pay for things it is setting financial goals and reaching them. Children can thrive from our own financial goals. They can see us work hard to save our money for those special purchases (as well as the unexpected). My kids know how to save, give and spend their weekly pay. They know that we have to work hard for our money and that Mom and Dad are not also referred to as the Money Tree.
As parents, we always remember to teach our children ethics, morals, safety and other life lessons. However, there is another important life skill they need to learn — financial skills. After all, our goal as parents is to help our children learn from our mistakes so they don’t repeat them later in life.
So, as you struggle with working your way out of debt, keep in mind the gift that this can be for your children. They will learn and watch from you. For me, I know I am helping them grow into thriving, happy adults. That’s what matters most of all.