How to Discuss Money Issues with your Children

Money is a issue that needs to be discussed carefully with children in these times. They do not need to know all the private details and scary facts about money when they are children but there are basic concepts about money about which a child should be informed. These suggestions below offer some idea about how to approach this subject in a gentle and informative way with your children.

Ask them open ended questions

Children might be confused about money and not know how to open a dialogue around their concerns. You can ask them open ended questions like “do you know why people are losing their jobs in X company?”. It will allow them to start to discuss money and feel safe about asking you questions about their concerns.

Talk to them about being involved in money decisions

When your family is making big changes due to a money situation and the child has to give up things you could previously afford then the child may feel scared or helpless. Its important to have family meetings before making big changes so the child can have a say in the changes and feel some control over his life and value in the family. Sit down with your family before making any big changes and ask your child if he has any input.

Be honest

Be honest if you are struggling with money. It will cause distrust if you hide the fact that you are struggling from them. The children need to know that life can be like a roller coaster and sometimes you live the high life and sometimes you work to pull yourself up from a low situation. It will prepare them for independent living later in life. You do not need to give them details but you can say things like “We can not eat out that much right now because mommy and daddy need to pay some bills or save some money”.

Discuss your situation and put it into perspective

Teach children that money is the most important thing in life. That you are blessed to have a family, friends and good health. The children need to know that money is necessary for some things in life and parents need to work to provide for their families. But they also need to know that when there is not a lot of money in the family than the family can still be happy.

Allow them to express their feelings

Children may have concerns, frustrations and sadness over your money issues. They need to be able to express these feelings safely to you and it may take some encouragement to get them to open up and feel safe saying their feelings. Let them know how you feel about the money issues first so that they know their feelings are normal.

Talking to your children about money can be difficult and it takes time and creativity to open the subject carefully. They need to know the basic concepts. They need to know that money is a necessary part of life but that it is not the only thing in life that matters. That health, family, and friends are way more valuable and important then anything money can buy.