We know our goal is not to keep our kids happy, turn them into little soldiers or fulfill our unmet dreams. But if the goal is not to raise good kids, then what on earth is it? Andy Andrews puts it this way: “The goal is not to raise great kids. It’s to raise kids who become great adults.”
It’s a subtle but powerful distinction. Kids can behave well out of obedience or fear, but that doesn’t mean they’ll do what’s best when they venture out on their own. Raising kids who become great adults requires instilling character traits that will govern future decisions and actions.
One of the best ways you can make sure your kids are ready to face adulthood one day is to teach them how to handle money now. That’s because money isn’t just about money.
When you teach a kid to work, you teach responsibility.
That’s because work — whether it is chores around the house or a job at the mall — involves follow-through, best efforts and accountability. Work shows kids that they alone are in control of their actions, and that they will reap the rewards of their labor. Great adults are responsible.
When you teach a kid to spend, you teach wisdom.
Spending money is fun. Kids totally get this. When you get involved, kids learn that, yes, spending money is fun. But it’s also something that should be done with care. Smart spending requires good judgment. Great adults use wisdom.
When you teach a kid to save, you teach patience.
Kids today are growing up in a world of instant gratification. Saving money forces them to slow down. This may hurt a little at first, but that’s okay. Saving money will show kids they can’t always have what they want the moment they want it. Great adults practice patience.
When you teach a kid to give, you teach generosity.
Generosity is defined as the willingness to give, but that doesn’t come natural to many kids. As a parent, encourage the act of giving. Then, watch their hearts change. Generosity is a necessary weapon to fight against selfishness and greed. Great adults are generous.
When you teach a kid to avoid debt, you teach honesty.
Debt allows people to live a lie. With debt, you can buy a bigger house, drive a nicer car and eat fancier dinners. If your kid wants to avoid debt for life, they’ll have to be honest with themselves and everyone around them as to what they can actually afford and who they really are. Great adults are honest.
When you teach a kid to be content, you teach gratitude.
Contentment comes from realizing that God owns it all. He created everything we have and all that we are. He cares about it all, too. When kids grasp this concept, they can be okay with who God made them to be and what God has given them to manage. If your kids learn to be content, they will be grateful. Great adults practice gratitude.
Imagine your life 20 years from now. Your kids are grown and gone. What do you hope for their future? Keep those dreams in mind as you start working with them today for a better tomorrow!
—Used with permission from daveramsey.com