The Toys R Us Big Book came to our door a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving; my children could not wait to circle everything they wanted in that catalog. We often talk to our them about likes, wants and needs. We do not allow them to say “I want that”, but encourage them to say “I like that.” We have had long conversations about the differences between needs and likes; these are just the first easy steps to intentionally discussing money issues with children.
This past Sunday, Tim Eisel and Scott Travis taught the parent equipping class for parents of 11-year-olds. They shared the Biblical perspective on money and some practical tips to help parents discuss money in their home. Did you know that 2,350 verses in the Bible talk about money? Clearly it is important to God how we talk to and teach our children about money.
It becomes a matter of simply being aware of how we talk and process thoughts about money: Is it ours or Gods? Do we have good limits and habits when spending, saving or giving money? Do we see our finances as a way to honor God and do His will on this earth? Do we bow our needs and wants to His will for us? Are we willing to process these questions out loud in front of our children? If we do not, how will we ever expect them to believe they can trust Him with everything, including money?
Younger children: Use the word choice to talk about money. Children are more apt to see money as a responsibility and a choice if we use those words. “We are choosing not to buy toys today, we are choosing to put our change in the red kettle for the Salvation Army because they help people; we choose not to pay for renting a movie when we have movies at home” etc. This is more helpful for them than “I’m not buying that” or “you can’t have that.”
Older children: Set up three jars labeled giving, saving and spending; kids like to see their progress in each area. Have them first put a portion away in giving and allow them to decide how to give to church and to God’s kingdom around the world. Talk about the blessings we get from giving, saving and spending according to the Bible.
Parenting Resource: Money Matters for Kids by Larry Burkett and K. Christie Bowler