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What if I enter a room and I begin saying to you: you are beautiful, you are kind, you are wealthy, and you are powerful. How would that make you feel? Vice versa, what if I said: you are ugly, you are rude, you are broke, and you are not going to amount to anything. How would that make you feel? If you are like me, that would not make you feel good about yourself. In fact, it could cause one to fall into a state of depression and battle with low self- esteem.

As a financial parent, it is important to speak positive words into your children’s financial future. As adults, it can be challenging to stay excited about your own future when you are struggling to make ends meet. However, it is crucial that you watch how you carry yourself around your children.

When I was a child, anytime I heard the phrase “I can’t afford”, I put myself and my household in a box. When I saw other children enjoying some of the things I wanted, I became disappointed. As a result, I felt like I would never have a chance to have certain things happen in my life because I was so concentrated on what I didn’t have.

Even if your child asks you for things and you are not able to afford them at the time, there are other ways to say you can’t purchase the item and still give your children hope. To help you with your journey on becoming a successful financial parent, I created the 4E Communication Model. The model gives you suggestions on how to be more effective when talking to your children about money.

1. Educate Your Children. By teaching your child the fundamentals of money at an early age, you will help them understand the importance of saving their money for items they want in the future. When children are not taught the importance of how money works, they often see their parents as an ATM machine.

2. Encourage Your Children. Give your child an opportunity to write out a wish list and help them devise a plan on how they will reach financial goals. Introduce them to the idea of entrepreneurship or help them earn money by doing work around the house for you, family or neighbors. This will give your child an opportunity to learn responsibility especially if they are not old enough to get a job.

3. Empower Your Children. Even if your budget is not setup to do a lot of vacations, don’t be afraid to encourage your children to learn about different places they can visit when they get older. Do your own research as well and see what type of experiences you can give your child that are low cost but would be enjoyable. With these strategies, you will still be on track to helping your children have a better outlook on your family’s financial future.

4. Elevate Your Children. Teach your children how to associate with other kids who understand and value the concept of money. I know you may think this step is weird, but you reflect what you hang around. If you can get your children to associate with people whose parents want more for them, it will rub off on your children. Investing money into extracurricular activities for your child is a great way to help them build relationships with like-minded individuals.

By following the “4E Communication Model”, you will be able to help your child remain positive even in a not so positive situation. Shutting your children down and not exploring further options with them as to why you can’t afford something can be detrimental. By adjusting the way, you look at things and taking time to communicate more effectively with action will help your child have an opportunity to reach financial success faster.

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