Money matters. Money may not be able to buy you happiness but it will pay the rent, buy your groceries, and pay for whatever else is important to you. Money matters.
Good Dads teach their children about money because money matters. Good Dads teach their children about all kinds of things that matter. Good Dads teach their children how to read and how to ride a bike. Good Dads teach their children about good manners, dating, and sex. And Good Dads teach their children about money. Because money matters.
By teaching your children about money you teach your children about values. The way we spend and use money reveals a lot about our values and what is important to us. The point here is not to judge another person’s values and what is important to someone else. Rather, the point here is to our children that money matters and that money represents our values.
Last year my boys wanted to go sky diving. They saved their money and spent $200 each to jump out of a perfectly good airplane. I thought they were nuts. They could have given the money to the pilot and told him to throw it out the window. But it was important to them.
As a Dad, I want my boys to make choices based upon their values. For strong, healthy boys with few responsibilities going sky diving was a good choice even if a bit extreme. For me, a 56-year-old man with an artificial hip, I choose to keep my feet on the ground and to live through by boys’ adventures.
I like to teach my boys you can have almost anything in life; you just cannot have everything. It is a matter of choices based upon your values. From the time the boys were 8-years-old they have had jobs of some kind. They have contributed to their portion of family vacations, their college tuition, and their first car.
As a Dad, it is important to me that my boys are generous. I would rather have generous children than children who have whatever they want. I teach my boys to set aside 1/10 of their income to give away. If it costs $200 to sky dive then my boys’ need to know that there is a cost to being generous. I believe if my boys are generous first then there will always be enough left over for the needs and desires. They will have to make choices. They might have to make sacrifices. They might have to wait. But there will always be more than enough.
I hope this is helpful. It is not easy to be a Dad. It might sometimes seem crazier than jumping out of an airplane. But you are not alone. By talking together and encouraging each other we can all learn to be better Dads. We can also teach our children about important things in life and that money matters.
Jeff Sippy, a Dad-In-Training, is the father of three young men and the husband of Cindy. He enjoys sailing every chance that he gets. He is the senior pastor at Redeemer Lutheran in Springfield, MO and can be reached for question or comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.