Since the beginning of time there's been a drive to gain more than what we currently have. We, as Americans, know this all too well in our land of ample opportunity. The struggle we parents have to deal with is how to teach our youngin's what money should be.
Before we even can teach them though, I think we need to have a good handle on what we think money is.
Is it the most important aspect of our lives?
Is it a stressful means to an end?
Is it something we've been given to give away?
Whatever our personal philosophy of funds happens to be, that will be the monetary impression our kids will get.
We, in our unique journey, strive to use our funds to help those around us be who they are supposed to be. This means that we give a portion of our funds to mission work. Not only do we give monetarily, but we also are able to go and visit other countries. This has made the biggest impact on our 6 year old's view of money. Watching the street kids struggle to live on nothing in Nicaragua and the generosity of low income friends to give us a great meal in Turkey has shown her how blessed we are. On her own, our daughter has decided that she doesn't always need to buy more. We consistently reiterate in front of both of our kids that everything we own is not ours. We've been blessed with it for a time and it's ours to bless other's with.
I'm hoping that by setting this (mostly) consistent example of holding money as something that we are blessed with that our kids will keep a balanced view of it as they get older. We will see!
This was post was written for a contest on Parent Bloggers Network http://blog.parentbloggers.com/ in conjunction with Capital One http://www.capitalone.com/financialeducation/cbt/launcher.htm . They have a new program online ( Moneywi$e eLearning ) tool to help families learn to manage their finances.