By Alison Pyott

There is no single best way to talk to your children about money, but many experts agree that a series of age-appropriate conversations are better than THE one big money talk. This includes weaving money conversations and lessons into everyday life to help your children build perspective, skills, and confidence.

Children are naturally curious and perceptive. They likely are creating assumptions and making judgments about their family’s financial situation vs. their peers. Starting a series of age-appropriate money talks early in life can help them understand what they need to know in the present while preparing them for the future.

Consider making your conversations about more than money. Helping children understand needs vs. wants, values, local and global issues, how money is earned & the value of a dollar, vocations and what gives them joy can help build meaning and purpose. Family wealth can then be a foundation and fuel for helping your children pursue their passions and reason for being.

How To Prepare

Before initiating money talks with children, it is a good idea to reflect on your own values and emotions related to money, especially as it relates to what you want to pass on and instill in your children. Do you have any fears that need to be addressed? What are you most excited about? What are your greatest hopes for the future?

After some personal self-reflection, It is a good idea for parenting teams to share their reflections with each other and plan for larger discussions. Are you on the same page? Are there any areas of disagreement? Are there any boundaries you want to set? What are the most important facts your child needs to know at this stage of their lives? Setting intentions and defining ideal outcomes can help you enter conversations with a positive and purposeful approach.

The Conversations

Similar to other discussions to help your children prepare for adulthood, the best approaches are layered – multiple conversations big, medium and small. Answer their questions and listen to their thoughts and ideas. Provide them with age-appropriate resources to explore on their own and ask them questions that will prompt them to think more deeply about money, wealth and its purpose.

You may also want to consider sharing your family history with your children. Where did the family wealth come from? What lessons were learned along the way? What are the money values within your family that you wish to pass down to the next generation? Involving your children in philanthropy and simple spending decisions can provide wonderful opportunities for these conversations. As your children grow into teenagers or young adults, continue to deepen the conversations you have with them about family values and money.

You may also consider giving children the opportunity to talk to a money mentor – a trusted family member, financial advisor, or other professional who can provide information and answer their questions. Supporting your family’s needs is part of our work at Veris Wealth Partners. Our clients are welcome to contact their wealth manager to discuss ways we can support your money talks.