In creative writing courses, you always hear the advice, “show don’t tell“. This is because people tune out when you describe something to them, but they pay attention when they watch something happen.
This is true not only in storytelling but also in parenting. Social learning theory says kids pick up behaviors by watching them. Which means that kids do most of their learning about the world from watching their parents navigate the adult world. (This is true both for kids in school and kids learning at home, even though teachers are not acting in typical adult ways when they are trying to wrangle twenty-five kids in one room.)
This is also why authoritarian parenting doesn’t work. Kids don’t listen when you tell them to do something you’ve never done. And it’s why sensitive caregivers raise self-confident kids—if you model taking care of the emotional health of your kids, then they will do it for themselves. Modeling behavior is a powerful child-rearing tool.
To that end, what I am modeling for my kids is being incompetent with money.
Don’t jump all over me, okay? It’s hard to talk about money. I’d way rather tell you about the intricacies of my last orgasm. Or when I forgot to take anxiety pills and screamed at my son he was an asshole. Anything is easier to talk about than money.
Okay, so I make about $250K a year, but it is always gone. It goes to my company, which always needs more money to grow, and my kids, who also need money to grow. Also it goes to my garden. I put a photo up there as a confessional. You don’t know anyone who spent more money on their garden last year than I did.
I also spend a ton of money on household help. Almost every argument I have with my husband, for example, I have found can be solved with some money.
Actually, here’s a challenge for the comments section: tell me a problem that money can’t solve. Wait. Sex. In-laws. Money cannot solve those. But I love sex and I love my in-laws, so all we have here are money issues.
Here’s my new way of solving it. I gave everyone a credit card, and now everyone can solve every problem. But I couldn’t keep track of money. Which was bad since I already couldn’t keep track of it.
Then Kaiku contacted me with a trial card. It’s a prepaid Visa card and it’s not attached to my bank, so I won’t have everyone over-drafting me if I forget who is spending money on what.
I gave the Kaiku card to the kids to deal with money they earned in the garden. (Note they were terrible workers but are geniuses at finding ways to use the card.)
I gave it to my husband, fully loaded. While I took a mini-vacation. And it was like leaving him pot roast in the oven—he was so happy.
What did I model? That I’m a problem solver. I can’t model being good with money. But I am modeling that I am ackowledging my problem, and recognizing help when it comes to me, and using it well.
Thank you Kaiku.
This is a sponsored post on behalf of Kaiku Finance, LLC. with Visa Clear Prepaid Designation.