Have you ever sat back and analyzed your relationship with money? If so, did you think about how your relationship with money, influences your childs’ perception of money? I want to share with you twenty ways you may be teaching your child to be poor without even realizing it.
Just so you know, while compiling this list, I had to take note of my own money/wealth beliefs and check myself because some hit too close to home. I didn’t even realize I was teaching my child “poor” habits until I did a full mindset reprogramming around money about a year ago. Now, it makes me cringe when I hear people say self-sabotaging things about money and wealth.
I have to admit, a few of these will take some time to incorporate into your daily life but I promise if you stick to it, the results will be incredible. Your mindset and energy around money will be something you are not just conscious of but in absolute control of.
20 Steps to Poor:
You say things like, money doesn’t grow on trees! This is such a common one if I had a penny for the number of times I heard this… well you know the rest!
You talk about your bad finances in front of them. Your kids don’t need to know, you missed a credit card payment or when you are late on the rent.
You’re vocal about how much you hate your job. I think this is probably an overlooked example. We don’t realize what we’re teaching our children about money and happiness when we go to work every day to a job we hate.
You tell them you can’t afford it when they ask you for something. Believe me, I understand this one. There are times when you genuinely can’t afford something but your kid doesn’t need to know that. Instead, tell them you don’t see the value in whatever it is they’re asking for. If it’s something you are okay with purchasing in the future, turn it into a learning opportunity. Tell him, he has until the next time you visit so and so store to prove to you why this item is valuable. This buys you time until you have the money and also saves you from having to admit to him that you can’t afford something.
You are outright salty or envious towards people who have more than you. Your child hears you when you make excuses for what other people have or what you don’t have. Example: “Well it’s easy for her, they have two incomes”. or “If I had a rich husband I’d drive a Mercedes too”.
|You speak negatively about everything. Even when seemingly good things happen. I knew a girl who won a Mustang in one of those mall raffles. It was worth $40k. When she told me, I was so excited for her. Instead of basking in the glory of winning a FREE car, the first thing she said is yes but remember I have to pay all of the taxes. Insert emphatic eye roll! I don’t need to explain to you why being negative is just not conducive to a wealthy mindset.|
|You watch T.V more than you read. Did you know most millionaires are reading over 1.5 hours a day? How many books did you read last year?|
You give an allowance based on chores/jobs rather than experiences. You are literally teaching your child to trade their time for money.
Example: when they put the garbage out and make their beds, they get a weekly allowance. The reality is, these “chores” are tasks normal functioning adults should be doing. This isn’t anything special or extra. Instead give allowances based on experiences, like when they read all the books on their book log. If they ace an exam in school that you know they studied like crazy for or improved a grade significantly. When they help a friend or family member without anyone asking them to, or my personal favorite when they meet a personal goal.
|You spend more money on accumulating things than you do experiences. Did Timmy really need 5 new pairs of sneakers, or could you have spent a weekend exploring a new city or a baseball game or science center? This doesn’t have to be some huge expense. Literally, hop in the car, pick a new place to explore and GO!|
You idolize money. Most people don’t even realize when they’re doing this. If and When statements are debilitating for a wealthy mindset. Examples:
“If I can just get out of debt, I’ll be happy”.
“When I finally get this raise, things will be perfect”.
“when we have this amount saved, we’ll go on a vacation”.
Your happiness in life can’t depend on a specific financial goal, once that goal is met, the first thing we do as humans, is create another goal. It will never be enough, which means, you will never be truly happy. Is that what you want for your children?
|You don’t take the time to understand money and wealth building yourself. Sadly, our society does not teach us the proper way to manage, spend and make money. If we aren’t actively seeking this knowledge, we’re pretty much screwed. So of course, If you don’t understand money, there is no way you’re going to be able to teach your children.|
|You believe money is the root of all evil. <—- Enough Said! I have one quote that comes to mind when people bring up this wrongly restated bible excerpt… “When great people, make great money, they do great things”.|
|You say things like, what do I look like, the bank? In fact you are the bank as far as your children are concerned. You are the keeper of the money. Like any bank, to withdraw from it, you either have to deposit into it or borrow from it. Instead of shutting your kids down when they ask you for something, let them treat you as the bank. Teach them how to deal with the bank; Negotiation, borrowing, and saving are all concepts they will need to learn when dealing with an actual bank.|
Another conversation I hear between parents and kids too often,
kid: “can I have Mc Donald’s?”
Parent: “You got Mc Donald’s money?”
Mom. Dad. Come on… what the heck does that even mean? Just say no, its not healthy. Don’t let your kid feel like you CAN’T buy them a $4 happy meal. Even if you can’t afford it right now, they don’t need to know that!
|You shut down their dreams. You don’t allow them to escape into la la land and imagine themselves living the perfect life. Why tell them to be realistic and limit their desires? The last thing we need is more miserable adults walking around feeling unfulfilled and unheard. If your kid wants to be the first juggling elephant trainer to land on Mars, so what! Albert Einstein said, “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination”.|
|You spend too much time gossiping in front of your kids. Instead talk about other topics, like the world, other cultures, cool experiences. We know that our kids are always listening, even when they pretend they’re not. Save the gossip for when they’re in bed, although it honestly isn’t good for you either. Remember, “great people talk about ideas. Average people talk about things. Small people talk about other people”.|
|You don’t let your children have an opinion. I remember when I was young I would hear adults say, “children should be seen and not heard”. Umm What? That is ridiculous, the sooner you allow your children to engage in “grown up” talk the better. They’ll learn to negotiate sooner, they become more comfortable having intellectual conversations and much more able to express themselves.|
|You define wealth by the amount of money you have in the bank. If you haven’t figured it out yet, being wealthy is not a number it’s an energy, a mindset. It’s a way of life that money subsequently follows.|
You play the lottery religiously (Don’t fight me for this one). Playing the lottery or gambling, it’s really all the same. That $20 bucks a week you spend on lotto tickets is $1040.00 a year. That $1000 could have gone to a mini-vacation, new piano lessons, or language lessons. When you consistently spend money on the lottery or gambling you are actually showing your kid that the only way you think you can be rich, is by pure luck! Not working hard, not intentionally aligning yourself with wealth, just being lucky.
I’m going to take this one step further. When your child asks you for money for extracurricular activities and you say no we can’t afford it and then stop at a gas station on the way home and spend money on lottery tickets, you are literally telling them you believe in the lottery more than their dreams. More than their happiness.
|You don’t encourage your child to read. This is huge! This goes back to #7, if you’re not reading leisurely than your child is more than likely not going to either. You have to be the example. Schedule reading time in for both you and your child. Do it together! Start small, dedicate 15 minutes before bed to read, then up it to 20, then 25 and so forth. If you can get to the point where you are relaxing with your child for 45 minutes every night, before bed to read, the two of you would have read about 52 books a year. YES 52! I know this seems like a lot so start small. Even at 20 minutes/day that is still upwards of 20 books for the year. How impressive would that be? If your little one is not yet reading, then spend this time reading to them. Malachi, my 5 yr old, and I just finished The Alchemist. We are now 15 pages into The Power of Now.|
I really hope you found this list useful and eye opening. Let me know what you think. I am interested to know what things resonate with you and what doesn’t. Even if there is only one or two things that you are guilty of doing or saying, I really encourage you to reprogram your thoughts and speech where money is concerned. You can do this through hypnosis, daily journaling and/or meditation. The point is to get deep down to the root of your money blocks, so you can correct them at the source.
If you want to start making changes immediately, download my 14 Ways to Improve the Wealth Mindset of Your Child worksheet below.