22 May Raising Grateful Children
Bill Dendy Featured on DallasNews.com:
Oh, baby! The cost of raising a kid has jumped to a whopping $234,900 ($490,000 for HIGHER earners)
Last year my wife and I welcomed our beautiful daughter to the world. I could not help but think about the future as she grows from infant to adult and all the things I wish for her along the way. That internal struggle that every new parent contends with enters my mind: How do we raise our kids to be grateful, responsible human beings without depriving or spoiling them? According to Parenting Magazine, 70% of parents say that their children are somewhat spoiled. To reduce that startling statistic we should encourage a healthy (or positive) attitude toward abundance and an awareness of what it means to receive and still achieve.
Every day I advise my clients at Elite Financial Management to always think ahead; whether it’s for retirement or tax planning, there is no time like the present to instill good financial habits! So I took my 20 plus years of experience in the financial industry and devised some useful tips for parents on how to provide for your children now so that they will be unaffected, money-savvy adults in the future.
Teach gratitude: Make sure your kids learn to appreciate what they have. Gratitude can be practiced daily by giving thanks as a family. Additionally, provide opportunities for children to volunteer, interact and give to those in need; this is something you can do as a family, too. Emphasize the power of “Thank You” in verbal and written communication so that they don’t take things for granted.
Emphasize function over fashion: Make shopping a teaching experience as you point out to your kids the value of things that have quality and lasting beauty rather than going for the latest brand names, logos or fads. This may not always lead them to the lowest-priced item, but it gets them thinking about the long-term value. Praise items your family owns that have endured.
Discuss family finances: Don’t leave your kids in the dark about what bills you pay each month, so they know what goes into running a household. Let them know why you need to make choices among activities and how to spend vacation time, plus how much you have allotted for food, presents or parties for birthdays and holidays and school. Teens need to know that having a car often comes with a finance payment, insurance, registration, inspections, maintenance and gas.
Open a bank account: The sooner children earn, save and spend their own money, the sooner they will understand how to manage it. When they earn an allowance or babysit the neighbor, it is an opportunity to understand how money accumulates and grows over time. They’ll also learn how quickly an account can be wiped dry if you make a major purchase.
Don’t do everything: If your child makes an impulsive purchase that sets a personal budget off balance, let him or her figure out the cost of those mistakes. It is natural to want to bail the child out; however, when it comes to money this may backfire in the long run as the mistakes they make in the future may prove much more costly and harder to fix.