In recent survey showed that the number one reason parents gave for not discussing financial matters with their children was that "children have no business knowing these things".
Imagine that! What would happen if we took that same approach with other critical life skills? What if we never let them handle a sharp knife and help to prepare food?
One of the most damaging things we do to our children is to keep certain aspects of life hidden from them.
The truth of the matter is that kids are very, very sharp. They have a fair idea, subconsciously, about the state of the family, what you feel good about, and what you are worrying about.
The best way to relieve their anxiety is to openly name the issue, and to let them ask questions about it.
When you have an increase in your income, let them know, and let them know that they won't see any difference in lifestyle because you will be using the extra money to pay off debt or to save and invest.
If someone's job or business is under threat, let them know that's what you are worrying about, and also let them know that even if the worst happens, the family will still be OK.
If their friends have noticeably better clothes, holidays, or electronic gadgets - or noticeably worse - talk about that when they raise the issue.
Let them compare attitudes to money in your family with attitudes in other families - even within the extended family. My daughters enjoy talking about similarities and differences across generations and between households - not just with regard to money, but across all sorts of issues from religion to handling anger to the division of household chores.
If you have made mistakes with money, let them know. Don't be afraid to use yourself as an example of what not to do!
Share your struggles with them as well as your victories. If you look like you have it all handled, you will seem too alien to them to be an effective role model, because kids are always well aware that they don't have it all handled.
The feeling you are aiming for is that managing money is just like riding a bike, and learning to do it is no harder than learning anything else.
If you teach them about money in exactly the same way that you teach all their other life skills, they can arrive at adulthood without the emotional baggage that so
many of us have about money and business.