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EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is George Bailey's weekly report on he and his wife's efforts to teach their kids financial freedom.
One of the exciting things that we're slowly building over at Choose the Nickel is our "Recommended Library." Our vision is that parents and other mentors will be able to hop on over to our virtual library to review possible materials they can purchase so that they have resources with which to teach their children about money.
Some of the materials are for children to use directly. For example, I recently reviewed the book It's Not What You've Got!, which almost perfectly reflects my own values as they pertain to money. I plan on reviewing even more materials as I come across them.
A few weeks ago, I checked out from the library every children's book about money and business I could find. Just having them in the home is a wonderful thing because my children will tend to sneak off with one or two of them for personal consumption. It makes me happy that I'm not needing to stuff theses materials down their throats ("Your kids' throats?! I need more mice!" — Asclepius, the pet snake). I would have thought that books on money would be a complete bore for them. Not the case.
Just a few days ago, one of my kids—one who is obsessed with coding—asked me if he could knock on doors around the neighborhood so that he could conduct some "market research." He wanted to test whether or not other kids would like a coding educational program he's dreaming of putting together. I don't talk with my kids much about market research, so I'm pretty sure that he got that term out of one of the books.
My normal impulse would have been to reject his petition outright. I did missionary service for my church in Denmark and probably spent the entire two years there knocking doors while trying to persuade those heathen (but lovable!) Danes that they need religion in their lives. Danes love religion much the same way that a toddler loves a tetanus booster. As such, I experienced a series of doors in my face that would shake even the most fever-pitched vacuum cleaner salesperson to his core. So you can understand why I might not be totally enthused when my son asked me to join him for market research.
But I'm going to help him anyhow. I don't have a heart of stone. If my kids show an interest in learning the ins and outs of business, I'm going to coach them through the steps as early as possible. And if it means more disappointment, bruised or frostbitten knuckles, afternoons out in a cold and constant drizzle, veiled threats from the neighbors, and Danes trying to both reject me and impress me with their mastery of English ("I am not interesting!"), then bring it on. I've got children to teach.