By Nyesha Stone
There comes a moment in a child’s life when their parents are supposed to give them “the birds and the bees” talk because their parents understand that this topic will be important in their child’s life later down the line. Money, plays a bigger role than sex though, so why isn’t there a “wealth” talk?
Wealth isn’t usually a dinner-table topic, which is a problem within itself. How can a child begin to understand the concept of wealth if they’re not taught the true meaning of the word until well into their adulthood?
Just by starting the conversation at an earlier age gives that child a head start on the game of wealth.
“Often times, many people in our community don’t know how this works [wealth],” said President & CEO of The Center for Self Sufficiency, Carl Wesley, “so we have to start as early as possible.”
He suggested that learning about the concept of money should be a part of the building blocks in K-12.
Just like many things, creating generational wealth in the Black community starts at home. Teaching our youth the importance of not just the dollar but how you can split that dollar into two ways to make an even bigger profit, is the goal.
Wesley does believe the conversations should be first brought up at home because White people have been having these conversations with their children for hundreds of years, and now it’s our time to start.
“Teach your family, teach your kids, teach your cousins,” said Wesley.
If a child understands to save a percentage of the money they receive throughout their youth years, then they’ll be on the road to having something to fall back on once they’re older. And if they are taught how to manage their money correctly, by the time they get their first job, they won’t be the typical teenage who splurges through their money. Instead, they could be saving up for college, a business or anything they want by just putting up a few dollars from each check.
Over time, a few dollars will turn into a few hundred dollars, and then into a few thousand. Having $3,000 saved up by the time an individual is 18 isn’t impossible.
The Creative Development and Outreach Director at TRUE Skool, Fidel Verdin says the Millennials have every chance to create generational wealth. According to him, “you can create your own individual revolution in your basement.”
“Our young people are simply not going the traditional path we did and our parents did,” said Verdin, “they don’t want to work a 9-5,” and we have to start teaching our kids it’s okay to think this way.
White children have been taught to be a manager while Black children are taught to be workers, but that narrative can and needs to change.
By simply letting your child ask questions, helps their mind expand and makes them understand the world in a new way. And rethinking how this world runs is something our children need to know how to do.
It’s okay for your child to ask you what options exist other than going to college, and you should have the knowledge of what options they have.
Words create reality and once we start speaking wealth into our youth’s ears, they will make it their reality to create it.