Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Child's Reaction to the Tornadoes

by guest blogger, Lauren Davison, VP of Member Services

My daughter came home from school the other night more than a little fretful about the tornadoes that caused so much damage in Weld County. Apparently, many of her schoolmates had spent the afternoon talking about the homes that had been destroyed, and it was more than her six-year-old mind could process. So she spent much of the evening asking my husband and me lots and lots of questions. She wanted to know what our plan was if we were ever in a tornado, where we would go, what would happen to our house, and of course, what would happen to her toys. As we tried to allay her concerns and reassure her that all was well, she again asked my husband what would happen if our home was damaged in a tornado. He patiently explained to her that our family has insurance to help in situations like this, and that we would likely buy a new home to live in. At this, she looked at both of us and said, “But Dad, I thought you and Mom were trying to pay stuff off?”

Please understand that my husband and I don’t typically have financial discussions in front of our kids, and yet my daughter had somehow picked up on the fact that we are indeed focusing a lot of energy on achieving a debt-free life. With this simple question from my daughter, I was reminded yet again that children learn most of what they know about money from their parents. All of our financial actions - how we talk about money, spend money, save money – it all sets the stage for the financial decisions our children will make as they grow. And so I find myself questioning, yet again, the financial “messages” I am sending to my children, intentionally or otherwise. Every time I use my debit card to pay for groceries, every time I pay more than the scheduled amount on our student loans, every time I complain about the price of gasoline, and yes, every time I stop at Starbucks for a latte, what are my children learning from me?

I think it’s time to dig out my copy of Raising Financially Fit Kids and start reading again.

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