Early this morning, while working on some video editing (pretending that I knew what I was doing), I received an inbox from my new Facebook friend Whalen. Hey Whalen! What he shared with me was a link to a YouTube video interview of Tom Corley, author of Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to be Happy and Successful in Life. The interview was full of great nuggets, many of which we’ve touched upon in our previous articles. Those of you who follow me on Twitter and/or Facebook (@ThiahMuhammad) may have seen where I shared the link. Without recapping too much of it, there was a quote that I thought was exceptionally important to emphasize for the purpose our #RaisingBlackMillionaires Movement. Mr. Corley stated: “What it boils down to is parenting. If parents take on the responsibility _even if they are non-millionaire parents_ take on the responsibility of teaching their kids some of these good habits and these good strategies, they will put their kids ahead of the eight ball; because their competition isn’t learning this stuff. …I wish I could get inside the head of every parent in this country and give them the same sense of importance that I feel that this stuff deserves. I think too many of them are too busy watching the Kardashians or Bruce Jenner or whatever you call him now or Kate Jenner; and they’re not interested in, you know, doing the things you need to do in order to succeed in life.” OOOkay….let’s look at some points of consideration.
Every parent who is serious about parenting desires to give their children better than they themselves had (better opportunities; better experiences; better lifestyles…just better). For many of us, for decades, we have considered “better” to simply relate to the standard of living that has been measured perhaps by what brand of clothing we’re able to provide; or whether we could take them to Disney Land; or whether they’re able to go to a charter or private school versus a public school. But, many of us (perhaps because of our own lack of ability to perceive _with great scope or depth of field_ beyond our manifested realities), fail to do a good job of preparing our children mentally and with the skills and resources necessary to attain and maintain wealth.
……..Crickets?……. As I’ve heard Pastor Freddie Haynes say, “you missed your shout.” Let me provide you with an example to make what I mean clear.
In our culture, it’s common for young boys, at some point in their childhoods, to express an interest in becoming a professional athlete (or entertainer). Parents pull out all of the stops to come up with registration fees, equipment and camp costs; and you know we’ve GOT to have the pictures from every season for the photo album! If our children show real promise, then we may defer a bill payment to send them to a special sports camp. These are called investments. While the ROI (return on investment) is never known with these things, we find and provide the necessary resources to increase the chances of their ultimate successes as NFL draft picks. But the thing that gets me every time, is that more often than not, we _the parents_ put all of that time, energy, and strategy into getting our children to the Pro’s; but no real time into preparing their minds and spirits, giving them financial literacy and money management skills to handle the money and keep it beyond the 5 year NFL career length average. So, what was at one time a dream come true quickly becomes an unbelievable nightmare. Because, I’m going to tell you something: it’s one thing to be poor and never experience having much of anything; but it’s a totally different experience to have nothing, get everything, then have nothing all over again. Losses like those are the kinds that people go into such extreme depressions over that it becomes exceptionally difficult for them to ever recover.
So, parents, how about taking some of those times when you’re waiting on your child to finish practice, to find out what it is you may not know about financial literacy and money management; and then find someone or an online resource to which you may connect your child to give them a REAL opportunity to have better than you had.
I don’t know about y’all, but when he said that parents are too busy Keeping Up With the Kardashians, I immediately looked for his Twitter handle! I so felt him with that. Now, because this series is being compiled with Black people, specifically, in mind (including the Brown and Red people) let’s switch out the television shows and see if we can really feel his point. Here we go: “I wish I could get inside the head of every parent in this country and give them the same sense of importance that I feel that this stuff deserves. I think too many of them are too busy watching [Love & Hip Hop or Real Housewives of Atlanta or Scandal]; and they’re not interested in, you know, doing the things you need to do in order to succeed in life.”
Did you miss your shout? Naw, you didn’t miss it. I know most of you either felt me with one of those shows, or you know several people who love one or all of those shows.
The point is, the next time you look at your child (no matter the age) and observe the conversations and activities in which they’re involved or the means by which they make their living, ask yourself, could this at all be due to my spending too much time watching MiMi & Stevie J versus showing or learning with my child how to read a financial statement?
I’m throwing down the MIC and walking off the stage… I love y’all.
But before I do, I’d like to point out that two great resources for financial & economic literacy are: the M.O.S.E.S. Movement (http://www.mosesmovement.com/) and The Black Wealth Bootcamp (http://theblackwealthbootcamp.com/). Let them know I referred you!