Well, I have to say I was surprised to read this excerpt from an email ING sent me on Friday.
"We recently conducted a Twitter survey asking parents what they were least prepared to discuss with their children: sex, drugs, or finances. We heard it straight from Savers – ‘finances' was the hardest to cover with their little ones."
Really? People would rather talk to their kids about sex or drugs than talk about money? I mean, it's just money. You have to deal with money all the time, every day. If you're going to work you're earning money. If it's payday you have money. If you're going to the grocery store you're spending money. Kids see you doing this stuff all the time, constantly interacting with money. They're there with you when you're at the ATM or when you swipe your debit card at the gas station. They see you write the cheque for their school pictures. Presumably they don't see you in intimate situations or see you turning down people on Granville Street offering to sell you drugs (please G-d)!
So, how can it be easier to talk to your kids about sex? They don't want to have to entertain the possibility that this is something you've ever done (well, except that once in order to have them, and once for each of their siblings). And, as for drugs, well whatever they've read on the Internet must be more accurate than what their folks know about drugs, right?
But money is something they know you handle every day. How terrifying can it be to say "Well, let's look through the Scholastic flier and pick out some books. I can afford $10 this time. Do you want the Dora book and the book about ladybugs, or do you want the princess book with the beads you can make bracelets with? No, you have to choose because the princess one costs $9.99 all by itself."?
Or how about, "I wish we could go to Disneyland, but we don't have the money. If that's what we all want to do this summer maybe we could start saving for it now, but that might mean we can't pay for swimming lessons this spring."?
Or even, "I know you want a lot of things for the holidays but why don't you make a list of the things you want the most and I'll let your grandparents and Aunty Sue know too. Just remember, you won't necessarily get all of the things on the list because we only have so much money to spend."?
I mean, how scary was that? How tough is it to ask your teenager if the benefits at their first job include a pension fund and to suggest that they open an RRSP?
This is almost like the people who say they're most afraid of public speaking, more so than of fire or jumping off a cliff. Sorry. My mind's just boggling right now.