Having the “Talk”
I don’t really remember exactly how I let it happen. All I know was that I was driving home with my oldest daughter, talking about this and that as we often do when we’re alone. Somehow the this and the that lead to her asking me a question that would change everything.
“Why do women have vaginas?”
I was stuck, because my daughter was aware that she had asked something big, and there was no way she was letting me out of it.
Mind you, I knew that this conversation was coming eventually, but I really wanted to pawn it off on my wife. She has the biology degree, y’know. She would be far more clinical and careful. I should have known better, though. Trying to dump responsibility on my wife never goes well for me.
So, off I went. As soon as we got home, I pulled her and her brother aside and we wound our way through it all.
Anatomy. Intercourse. Menstruation. Pregnancy. Childbirth.
We talked about being appropriate, mistakes you can make, and the dangers of being irresponsible.
My wife has a gay brother in a committed relationship, so we even talked some about homosexuality.
It wasn’t a short conversation, and the kids walked away feeling both satisfied and horrified. They have a basic enough understanding now to know what’s coming, though, and we now have the opportunity to talk with them honestly about it whenever it comes up (and it has).
The sex “talk” is difficult, but ultimately beneficial for both you and your children.
So, I’ve shared all of that to ask you this:
Have you had the money “talk” with your kids?
In our culture, we’ve become more comfortable discussing sex, even with our children, than we are about discussing money. Whether it’s successes or struggles, there is a sense of taboo around sharing our financial lives except in the most intimate of relationships (and maybe not even then).
The problem is, as important as an honest sex talk is, an honest money talk is a hundred times more so. Our lives aren’t all about our money, but money touches every part of our lives. Money is life fuel. Sex can’t make that claim.
So, you have to wind your way through all the details.
Income. Saving. Spending. Debt. Investing.
How to act appropriately with money, the mistakes you can make, and the dangers of being irresponsible.
If you don’t think you know enough to have the “talk” with your kids, then it’s time to learn. Take a class. Read a few books about home finances. Just so you can have the opportunity to talk with them honestly about it. It might be difficult, but it will be totally worth it. For both you and your kids.
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