Talking about money is usually the LAST topic we enjoy discussing with the teens in our lives.
It’s often a matter that sparks tension and frustration. To make it even less productive, our culture says it’s okay to avoid the subject. That makes the matter of teaching our teens to manage money in a substantive way difficult and easy to avoid.
Why don't we talk to our teens?
I think we don’t talk to our teenagers about money because we’re embarrassed. If I have less money than you, I don’t want you to know it, and on the other hand, if I have more money than you, I don’t want you to know that, either!
But that’s not a sufficient explanation, either, really. If I’m taller or shorter than you, I am not embarrassed by my height. Everyone I know knows what kind of car I drive. It might be nicer or scrappier than yours, but I am not hiding it.
Why you SHOULD talk about money.
Maybe we are hung up about money because we don’t know how to talk about it! We don’t know what to say or how to respond if someone else says something about it. Many people think it’s not polite for people to talk about money.
Here’s the newsflash—wealthy people do talk about money with other wealthy people! Just like healthy people talk about health ("I just found the best new yoga studio! I’m so excited! Do you want to check it out with me?"), well-dressed people talk about clothes ("Did you see the gorgeous clothes they just got in at H & M?"), and well-read people talk about books ("Did you start the new Pulitzer Prize winner yet? I recommend it!"). Talking about things that matter to us is great conversation!
Let’s get parents to start talking to each other about great resources for teaching teens about money skills. Don’t you think everyone would benefit?
Begin talking with your teen about their spending habits, what they want to earn in the future, and how soon they would like to be self-sufficient.