Money talks, just not in front of the kids


Photo credit: Helen Suh

Money can be a stressful thing to talk about. Whether you have a lot of money or not much at all, it can be the main topic of concern. When you’re getting paid, paying bills, buying things for the house, repairing broken things, all center on money.

This money stressor is sometimes too much for adults, so it’s definitely something a child or an adolescent shouldn’t have to worry about. That’s why I think parents shouldn’t discuss money in front of their children.

I’m more concerned about the families that don’t have all that much, but even families that are well-off shouldn’t talk about it in front of their kids.

Don’t get me wrong, getting your kid everything they may want is great, but it could affect the way they look at money. They might start to feel entitled to everything, that money is no limitation for them.

They see a toy they want, they get it now. They want to go to Disneyland, they go now. They get in trouble and have to pay for it, oh it’s OK, daddy’s got it.

Kids that come from a wealthy family and are very well aware may become spoiled and lose touch with reality.

Now on the other side of this, kids who don’t come from a whole lot will have a completely different psychological reaction to money talks.

Kids who hear how parents are struggling to pay bills or can’t afford certain things will stress about it too. They will start to think that they don’t need anything new, because they don’t want their parents to spend money on them.

They’ll start to feel guilty or worry that they are the reason their parents aren’t better off. They may not ask for things for their birthday, or maybe feel upset when they see their parents buying things for them that are a little expensive.

I know I personally hated when I saw the price tag on a certain article of clothing and then telling my parents things like, “Oh, I don’t need these jeans, it’s fine.”

And then my dad would say, “But Britt, you don’t have jeans that fit you.”

I felt so guilty when I would see the Levi’s costing about $50 and I knew that could help with bills or go to my mom getting something.

At the end of the day, actions speak louder than words. Kids are relatively smart and can pick up on financial situations. There’s no need to discuss your situation in front of your child. Make sure that they’re somewhat aware, but don’t hang it over the child’s head. You’ll never know what that will do to them.

Brittany McClintock can be reached at orion[email protected] or @B_McClintock17 on Twitter.