I have two young children and often, as I presume many parents do, I find myself imagining them in their 20s, 30s and even 50s — how they’ll look, the kind of people they’ll be, what they’ll be up to, and so on.
One of the many things that keeps me awake at night is the lessons I need to impart to them that will have a positive impact on their lives. What can I teach them that they will remember for years to come?
Lessons about love, respect and honesty top that list. Every parent, I imagine, wants to raise upstanding adults with sound values and who’ll make a positive contribution to society. Invariably, however, we pass on many negatives, too.
There are many things we’ve learnt from our parents, good and bad, that we will pass on to our children unless we make a conscious decision to change their path. This heritage month, I’m thinking particularly about the financial lessons passed on from our parents. Many of us were never really spoken to about money, such as how to look after it, grow it through investing, and possibly leave some for the next generation.
Two things I learnt from my mom, a single parent with two children, was how and how not to spend, two very different sides of the coin. I was often told that we simply didn’t have enough money for all the things I wanted, but we never really sat down and discussed our household budget and why there wasn’t enough money. It was always a one-liner: There is no money for that.
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