Question of the Week: What Do You Care About?
October 2, 2013
When the Foundation started the Talk About Giving program, we learned that families are uncomfortable talking about finances. It makes sense, right? Money can be an awkward subject.
When the Foundation started the Talk About Giving program, we learned that families are uncomfortable talking about finances. It makes sense, right? Money can be an awkward subject. But, we also found that families that talk about finances are more likely to raise children who become financially responsible adults.
In response to this we developed a conversational Talk About Giving card game to provide a framework for families to talk about subjects related to giving. Discussing money is more comfortable when combined with questions about family, community and what we care about. Let’s pull a card to illustrate how the game works.
‘If you had some money and you had to give it away, where would you donate it?’
Initially, the thought of parting with a $10 bill may not sound like a good idea to many children. But, this question says they HAVE to give it away. Propose this hypothetical question to your kids and make it clear that there’s not an option to keep the money. This will help them get beyond the cash value and start thinking about sharing the money.
As adults, we support organizations that we care about. It could be your place of worship, your alma mater or another organization near and dear to you. Typically our hearts are at the center of our giving. We can help the young people in our lives explore what it is that matters most to them, and how and why they can help make a difference, by asking them this question: “where would you donate it?” Their answers will help the concept of giving become real.
A few years ago, my husband Ernie and I initiated a tradition in our family. Our teenage nephews have always received a birthday gift from us. Now, in addition to receiving something from their wish list, they also receive a check. But there’s a condition – the money we give them has to be given away.
The boys research the organization that they would like to see benefit and report back to us. They share why they have chosen the group and how the money will be used. This new tradition has provided a great lesson in sharing and a sound introduction to understanding the importance of investing wisely.
So, what do your children care about? If they had to share $10 today, to whom would they give? I hope these questions will invoke a lively discussion and look forward to hearing what your children plan to do.