What does it look like to actually teach our kids about money? The biggest key is giving them responsibility for managing their own money – and starting early.

When parents tell their kids, “We’re not buying that – it’s a useless toy that will break as soon as you get it home,” kids only learn that their parents make all the decisions. But when kids make those decisions with their own money (an allowance), they experience first-hand the disappointment of having wasted that money – and that’s a lesson that lasts.

And it’s important for kids to learn these lessons by making five-dollar mistakes, rather than making $5,000 mistakes as they get older. It’s like learning to walk. Kids learn to walk by falling – not by parents lecturing them on the theories of walking. And when a toddler falls, it’s a fall of six inches – so it doesn’t matter much. But if we keep our children in wheelchairs until they’re teenagers and then give them an opportunity to walk for the first time, a fall will hurt much more. The same is true with finances.

In this episode of The Faithful Steward, James Lenhoff shows us the importance of enabling our kids to learn financial responsibility and stewardship through their own experiences. James shares practical examples of how to give our children increasing levels of freedom and responsibility in this important area.