Home is where we get to be ourselves, I mean no one is watching, our guards are down, our true selves come out to play, and guess what? Our children have front-roll seats to see how we behave and react to different things and situations. Recently, I watched an interview and the person being interviewed said he had always wanted to live life the way his parents did because he saw how his parent’s genuineness produced results in their lives and so he has always wanted that kind of life for himself.
Research by neurobiologists, cognitive psychologists, and others indicates that 40 to 95 percent of human behavior – how we think, what we say, and our overall actions – are results of our habits. So our habits are determinants of how we behave. I’ve shared here how people around me at a certain point in my life talked so much about how difficult it was to get a well-paying job and how that influenced me to believe it was hard to get a job that pays above
N100,000. Our habits, the things we believe and talk about often, and the things we do have direct impact on our kids.
Even though we don’t really discuss money/finances with our kids, they see how we behave and react to financial issues and that influences their beliefs about money. So what are the money habits we shouldn’t have as parents?
Arguing about Money in Front of your Kids
You’ll be surprised that kids as young as 2-3years know when you’re arguing and they don’t like it. I noticed that my 3-year-old daughter screams for my attention whenever my voice is raised in a conversation. If money is a major issue in your marriage, please don’t discuss it in front of the kids. No matter how young they are, they hear you and they know you’re arguing. Your continuous back and forth about money will scar their money mindset.
Wealth shaming is when we make people feel bad for having money or being wealthy. You’ll agree with me that people do this a lot, when someone buys an expensive car or relocates to a high-brow area, people say things like, “he is a yahoo guy” or “na blood money.” It is worse on social media; people bully others for having money or spending it in a certain way. This is a very terrible habit because when you talk bad about those who have money, you exude negative money energy that tells your kids that having money is bad, you give the impression that wealth can only be gotten through dubious means when you call everyone with money a yahoo boy or ritualist. Your jealousy and envy of the wealthy destroy your child’s beliefs about money. Please stop this if you’ve been doing it.
Keeping Up with the Joneses
In this world of ‘fake it till you make it’, keeping up appearances has become the norm. People buy things they can’t afford just to impress others. They borrow to buy aso-ebi, shop in places they can afford, and pile up huge debt especially now that it is easy to access credit. The sad part is your children see all these things, they see your money insecurities, they see the real you at home and the fake you outside, they know you’re faking it and it creates a negative impression about you and money in their minds.
Being Excessively Frugal
There is nothing wrong with being frugal but your frugality shouldn’t be so bad that you don’t give your child the things they want. Don’t focus on getting them only the essentials and neglect the things they want. Every now and then, take them out to recreation centers, buy them things you know they will like, don’t shout them down when they ask for things you can’t afford, don’t use negative words when talking to them about money. Be intentional about the words you use when talking to your children about money. They don’t have to always get what they want but make sure they get enough to keep them happy.
All these highlights our insecurities about money, our kids see it all and are taking it all in. If you’re guilty of any of these, please stop it, remember the world is evolving and we can’t afford to make the same mistakes our parents did. We know better and so we should do better.
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