Our children’s attitude towards money is largely fashioned by our attitude towards money. So if you and your wife fight about money, or argue about money or hide things from each other, rest assured your prince or princess is watching you.
One needs to be very clear in the communication with the kids. Keeping an open house is fine as long as you are sure that the kids are in good company. Some kids spend a lot of money and this creates heart burn for some parents. Some parents are proud when their kid spends money on good things!
If you and your wife come from very different backgrounds, meeting of the financial minds is difficult. If you do not hesitate traveling to a friend’s wedding in a different city – and spend say 20k on a wedding trip, but your wife will agonise over taking a Meru cab for attending a wedding how do you resolve it? Your kids get confusing signals.
If you and your husband pinch pennies BUT allow the children to buy you luxuries (as soon as they start earning) they get a signal THAT YOU DID NOT HAVE the money, so you did not spend. This can be dangerous because your kid will not be able to take 1 year off to prepare for GMAT nor 2 years to complete the course!
If you are open about your finances – remember your 7th standard kid can be bullied into parting with some details to unknown scamsters online. Easy to bully a kid…Imagine:
Scamster: You are poor.
Your kid: No of course, we are not.
Scamster: What car do you have?
Your kid: Toyota Corolla.
Scamster: Your father must have borrowed
Your kid: yes
Scamster: I am sure your father does not have a credit card
Your kid: of course he has!!
Scamster: tell me the number…..
That is it!
So when I say be open teach your kids to be careful of the net, of wassup, ….any interaction with strangers.
Tell your kids you have money for essentials, you are willing to INVEST for education, you need money for your Retirement. Take them through the calculations. Tell them that even when you have Rs. 8 crores in net worth you may struggle to spend Rs. 8 Lakhs on a vacation, but will happily sign a Rs. 80L guarantee for an Ivy League education.
Make it clear that even if you have a nice networth you may struggle paying for a ‘Special course on Photography’ or ‘Hair Dressing’ if the cost is more than US $ 75,000.
Explain your financial situation, tell your kids what is theirs by right and what as a favor. Tell them Rs. 20 lakhs is my contribution towards your education, but Rs. 40 lakhs above that is a LOAN and is repayable WITHOUT interest but within 6 years of his getting a job.
Have money, plan well, share info with kids well, keep them safe by telling them what you think is safe, teach them to take risks (son it is fine if you want to experiment being a football coach for 3 years, I can afford to support you), tell them what you will support, what you will not.
Let them grow up to be nice smart, confident, risk understanding responsible citizens. If they see you like that, they will want to emulate you. If they do not, they will NOT.
So above all, behave well.
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