How Going Back to School Can Impact our Kids Relationship with Money

This past weekend, my wife and I made the decision to enroll our kids in the virtual option offered by their school for the fall semester.

It was a difficult decision for a myriad of reasons, but the reason I wanted to share this with you is because I know that a lot of folks are going through the same thing right now. I wanted to offer up some advice in light of that: this is also one of the greatest opportunities we have to show our kids the process of making decisions and working through a plan.

Warren Buffett always talks about how we are ‘products of our environment’ and now is a perfect example.  I get it – these are stressful times – but these are also teachable times, as they are affording us multiple opportunities for teachable moments.

Some of the worst things psychologically we can do right now is project our stresses onto our children.  For some of us this is easier than others, but let’s keep this front of mind.

Kids are like sponges and they are soaking everything up.

As Dr. Brad & Ted Klontz have written about, we are all products of a financial trauma that occurred as a child.  This in turn helps us develop our relationship with money, better known as money scripts.  However, these scripts are not a sentence, in fact, they are rewritable.

That is why I wanted to share this with you.  Because out of the sadness of losing their fall semester, we can instill lifelong lessons, and positive ones at that.

So here are a couple of things we did with our kids:

-Made sure they understood why we were considering virtual over in-person.

-Asked if they had any concerns.

-Identified what they might need to be successful in their classwork at home, and are working to eliminate any distractions.

And from that, we established a plan.

Finally, and most importantly, is projecting an attitude of gratitude.  How can they help make someone’s tomorrow a little brighter?  An organization here in the Triangle called Activate Good is a great resource, having varying volunteer opportunities. Perhaps there is an organization like this in your area? 

This was not implied to be a lecture, but to share that through moments we don’t even think about, positive relationships with money and planning are established.

It starts now!

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