01 Nov The Difficult Conversation of Money
An extra dose of tuition , a school trip to the States or a brand new laptop to start off the new school year…
You may hear these requests from your children. Of course, they are perfectly legitimate and as a parent, you often wish you can fulfil them, except you can’t afford it.
Your children walk away disappointed and confused with rejection while you end up feeling inadequate.
It’s perfectly normal to feel this way – money does invoke a lot of emotions! Instead of being trapped in the sticky web of dejection, CHOOSE to start an authentic conversation with your children about money. It will be a daunting conversation so here are some tips to get you started!
1. Share the reality with your child
Honesty is the best policy. Check out this video where you can introduce the concept of household spending to your children.
Let your children know what your income is being spent on and the challenges you face. Enable them to take incremental steps by being aware of what’s going on in the household. You don’t have to overwhelm them with details, but give them an idea of your limitations and how that may prevent you from meeting their requests.
You will be amazed with how much your child can understand and empathise.
Recognise that you are just the adult, not the super dad/mom who has to take on reality and create a cocoon for your child where everything is fine and dandy.
2. Create parent-children partnership
Your children may offer to alleviate your responsibility of meeting their requests.
If they do so, invite your children to think of ways to make it happen. Figure out what you can afford and negotiate a deal where they have to find ways to earn a portion of the money needed. This could be in the form of a part-time job, a paper run or even using part of their birthday money etc. Your child is part of the family – let them be your partner in making things happen and in turn nurture a strong parent-children partnership.
Engineer the difficult conversation into an opportunity for your children to take steps towards financial independence.