I recently came across this blog post about children and money. And it’s not just him saying it. I find this fascinating because I find that my children talk about money more than anything else – with the exception of God.
It clearly takes more than one conversation for them to learn everything to want to about money. Even simple things need repetition to sink in.
Recently I made an offhand comment about something being too expensive. So my youngest piped up that if he was president he would make things cost less.
Aha, I said, but how will you do that without taking money from the people?
I will never take money from people, mom, says my daughter who hates the very idea of taxes.
Ever the practical one, my middle son then wanted to know how much dad makes and how. Also, why does the business he works for pay him that amount and not less?
Conversation, not Textbooks
I bring this up because in this conversation, I can safely say we covered finance, ethics, economics and even some civics by the time we were done. Oh, and frugality. I ended up explaining to my youngest that my words had not been well chosen and it wasn’t that whatever we were talking about was too expensive. It was rather that I was not willing to pay so much for it because it didn’t hold the same value for me.
While we can bemoan that there isn’t the perfect curriculum in schools or even for homeschooling that teaches about money (there are – read on for suggestions) I think much of what our children learn about it is through conversation, not curriculum.
Of course there are the basics – the grammar, if you will, to cover with them. But it isn’t much.
Learning about money falls more significantly within the area of logic and rhetoric than grammar, which is perhaps why there aren’t enough “textbooks” or “curricula” about it and why they are more likely to be “skewed” in one direction or another.
Whatever your convictions about money, make sure you talk to your kids about them and talk often.