The whine rose above the din of all the shoppers around us. My cheeks flushed red and I bent low to the little person who made such a sound.
“No, we cannot buy a toy today. We do not have money for that,” I said barely above a whisper.
She crinkled her forehead in concern and spoke in confident loud tones, “You mean we don’t have any money mommy?”
Talking to kids about money and finances is a difficult thing. I know I want my children to understand the value of a dollar and hard work. I know I don’t want my kids to wander from home without understanding credit or credit cards, but I don’t really know how to teach or even what to teach. So I asked Shane Barkley, a financial planner and author of the book Dad Cents: Teach Your Children Biblical Principles of Money, some questions about teaching our children about money.
1. Why is it important to teach our kids about money?
“Money is a part of every aspect of our lives and is not just cash as is the typical mindset of today. Money or mammon in the Old Testament was any and every possession not just cash, coins, gold or silver. Try to think of a single incident in our daily life where we do not use some type of possession to interact with others. When we wake up we get out of a bed, we have clothing on our bodies (hopefully), we get food to eat, we shower, we get in a vehicle or pay to ride public transportation to the destination where we make the money to pay for everything we have!
“Very, very few families have this type of mindset. If every interaction or action we make utilizes some possession, does this include every action I take for God? Absolutely! I realized the reason for the Bible having over 2300 references to money is because we cannot escape the effect it has on our lives. In order to fulfill some of our greatest commissions, go and make disciples of all nations, taking care of the orphans/widows, raising our children in the admonition of the Lord, we naturally use money and/or possessions. So, could our view of money impact our effectiveness for God? Absolutely!!!”
2. What are the fundamental things kids need to know about money to be successful money managers?
“The first principle is ownership and may be easily learned after age 2. The money may be in their hands, but who is the ultimate owner? God. Since God is the owner, the second principle is learning what God commands about money. The third principle is money does not grow on trees. Kids need to understand where money comes from [i.e. mommy or daddy work at a job and get paid for what they do]. The fourth principle is how to use money. Although our kids do not need a lesson in how to spend money, they need to learn the lesson of making wise choices.”
3. How can wives encourage their husbands to teach their children about money?
“There are several ways moms can facilitate dad’s involvement. One of the keys is to find a resource written to dads. Men are not as appreciative of parenting books like moms. Men read books written to men, for men. As irrational as it may seem, parenting books make men feel like they are doing things wrong. The second is to involve them in every step of the process. If they feel like they are being “run over” they will move out of the way and disappear from the process.”
I highly recommend Dad Cents as a tool for both moms and dads. It covers issues including allowance, teaching generosity, and the basics of budgeting. As you read this book you will learn some things you didn’t know about money as well. You will be challenged and equipped to teach your kids and your husband will gain the confidence to do the same.
And guess what moms? Shane has agreed to give away two of his books today. Here is how you enter:
- Leave a comment about tools or ways you have taught your kids about money or why you need Dad Cents.
- Subscribe to The M.O.M. Initiative by entering your e-mail address in the right-hand column and clicking subscribe.
We will let you know tomorrow who our winners are.