Helpful or harmful? How are your life lessons and family money legacy impacting you?

winmoneyDespite the best of intentions, some of the lessons our parents have taught us have ended up being more harmful than helpful as we continue our life’s journey as adults.

Yesterday, I was saddened to read a newspaper article about a woman who was using tough principles to bring up her children. She felt that ‘Western’ parenting ideologies were too concerned with building a child’s psyche and self-esteem and would only serve to grow weak, under-achieving individuals. So, she took a completely different approach to raising her two daughters.

When her children didn’t get top marks in their school assignments she called them “garbage”. After practicing the piano for 3 hours a day, if they were still unable to play the musical piece with perfection – she would leave them out in the freezing cold until they could. Her 4 year old received a scolding after giving her a hand-made birthday card because the card was rushed, not good enough and didn’t meet the standards that ‘she deserved.’

I wanted to reach out and give the two girls a hug, and shuddered to think how the ‘lessons’ this mother was teaching her children would impact them in adulthood. I was reminded of the poem: “Children Learn What They Live” by Dorothy Law Nolte where Nolte so eloquently states:

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.

If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.

If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.

If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.

If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.

If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.

If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.

If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.

If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.

If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.

If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.

If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.

If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.

If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.

If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.

If children live with fairness, they learn justice.

If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.

If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.

If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

While I certainly hope you weren’t brought up in the environment as these two young girls, there may be some other lessons that you were taught about money that may be negatively impacting the way money and wealth is showing up (or not showing up) in your life and business. I call this your ‘Family’s Money Legacy’.

Just like our childhood experiences can impact our personalities, behaviour and the choices we make, the lessons we were taught by our parents through hearing their conversations about money and observing how they managed money can influence the way we manage (or don’t manage) money in adulthood.

Let’s look at three (of the five) Money Types and the lessons our parents taught us and the impact these can have. See if you recognise any.

  • The Money Type of Love is where the mother or father has a deep need to feel loved and connected to her children and constantly buys them gifts she can’t really afford to fulfil this need.Through observing this behaviour, children later in adulthood can face the challenge of self-acceptance.The unhelpful family money legacy of: “I need to do whatever it takes to get love,” has them modelling the same behaviour of spending on gifts as their way of feeling loved and connected to their own family.
  • The parent/s with the Money Type of Security is influenced by their need to feel safe and secure which can result in hoarding money and over-thinking each of their purchases.
    By doing this they teach their children fear, insecurity and the inability to trust. In adulthood they too have the fear that everything can be taken away from them or can just disappear.

    The unhelpful family money legacy of: “I never know when what I have (love, money, my job) may be taken away from me” so as adults they under-charge and discount their services; they do everything themselves; and they micro-manage their money.

  • The Money Type of Recognition is where the parent desires respect and recognition. Their underlying need to be right has them constantly looking for high-risk or highly unusual money-making opportunities.
    This behaviour can influence the same desire in their children who also seek respect and recognition. Their need to be right and respected by other people has them seeking the next ‘big money win’.

    The unhelpful family money legacy of: “I need to prove that I’m right” often results in huge risks and money losses through trusting the wrong people when it comes to investing.

If you recognise yourself in either of these Money Types, here are a few things you can do to help you start creating a more empowering money mindset. These are important steps if you want to create, earn and keep more money in your life and in your business.

Firstly, it’s vital to realise that you CAN change the unhelpful patterns, behaviours, habits and ways that you manage money if you choose to. Yes, you can break that cycle by creating a more empowering Family Money Legacy.

  • If you recognise the Money Type of Love it’s important to ask yourself: “What ‘need’ am I trying to fulfil?” before you spend money. Find ways of being able to feel accepted and connected to other people that doesn’t involve you spending money and creating debt.
  • If you resonate with the Money Type of Security it’s vital for you to recognise that you will always have what you need. Stand in your power with money by increasing your fees and saying ‘yes’ to clients that you WANT to work with.
  • If you see yourself in the Money Type of Recognition it’s important for you to start developing trust in proven methods of increasing your wealth. While this may seem a little boring at first – trust me, these well-established growth opportunities will support you in building a level of wealth that will enable you to gain the respect and recognition you are looking for from your peers.

Want to find out exactly what your Money Type is? You can by joining me on my Money Breakthrough Method Coaching Program

By discovering your Money Type you too can break through the disempowering, beliefs, behaviours and legacies that have kept you stuck.

If you make a commitment to yourself and invest in this program, I will make my personal commitment to you that I’ll provide you with the tools, resources and support that you need to break through your money barriers.

That’s my promise to you! Are you ready? A rewarding, abundant life and business are within your reach.

Right here:

Here’s to your amazing Money Breakthroughs!

I work with purpose-driven service-based businesses, implementing compelling brand and communications strategies (including setting up their own podcast/podcast series) so they can attract more clients who pay them what they are worth. Through working with me, my clients have doubled (and even tripled) their results. >>> Want to double (or triple) your results - while BOOST your reach and influence with your own Podcast Series? Let's talk! My details are on the Contact link (top of page).
I'm also the Host of Ambitious Entrepreneur Show & Women In Leadership Podcast, and have often been referred to as the 'Podcasting Queen' by my community. I hope you'll subscribe to my shows!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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  • Most people never think of how it is they handle money. They just do it. However, knowing how you relate to money is so critical, especially if your money behaviors are doing you any kind of harm. Most people don’t even think about the fact that what they are doing is a learned behavior, and can be changed.

    So if someone has always handled money in a certain way, because of what they experienced or were taught, how do they pinpoint which behaviors are the ones causing the problem?

    • Hi Sharon, that is such a great question. There could be a myriad of behaviours that continues to jeopardise the income they make. There are five different Money Types, with each type exhibiting different behaviours and with each Money Type facing different challenges. What WILL be showing up for them loud and clear, is the amount of money they have (or don’t have) in their bank account and the amount of money they continue to generate in their business.

      One way I recommend they find this out (so they can breakthrough these behaviours once and for all) is to get into our coaching program. We help people pinpoint their Money Type, the unhelpful behaviours associated with that Money Type, as well as empowering behaviours they should be doing to turn their financial situation around. Each person get’s their own set of Money Type cards, which are just gorgeous – as one of the bonuses! Pretty cool!

  • Wow, excellent article and so well written. Never missed a word. Thank you!

    • Thank you Elvie! After reading the article about how that woman was bringing up her children, I was inspired to write this. As a parent now myself, I’m very mindful of what I say and do around my children as I know the significance it can have with my children. Especially around money!

  • Most beliefs that show up in our lives as limitations began as a tiny seed of information innocently planted during childhood by those we relied on for 90 % of our thoughts ideas and beliefs…our parents. I hope that this amazing information you have provided in this article serves two purposes…one to help people “re-train” their beliefs about money and the other to inspire those who are parents to be aware of the impact THEIR beliefs have on THEIR children. Thank you for bringing to light such an important point.

    • Denny, as a parent, my eyes were opened to the fact that the impact of what I say and do around my children would/could have a huge impact on their lives, when I did my NLP training several years ago. I couldn’t believe it – AND didn’t want to pass any of my limiting beliefs on to my children. [Unfortunately, I’ve now worked with many adults who continue to live in fear, who are not reaching their goals and their potential and who keep jeopardising their future because of things that had happened to them in their childhood and now it continues to impact their lives in adulthood.]

      Thankfully with this new awareness, I can continue to plant seeds of hope, possibility, faith, self confidence, self worth with my children which will support them in their futures, and especially the ability to recognise that even when things don’t quite go as planned, not to take this as a sign of failure, but rather to see this as an opportunity of learning and growth. Blessings to you Denny – the work you’re doing is so important too!

  • Annemarie, your message is not just for business people. This has to go to the hands of parents in our community too.

    • Thanks Claudia. Yes, it certainly is a very important message and one that doesn’t just affect business owners.

  • Carol Giambri

    Great article. Interesting and truthful way of viewing money. Even some say Money is the Root of All Evil, but in all truths it is hard to help organizations or others needing money to help them accomplish what they are called to do. So money is a useful is a tool and once people learn how to wisely care for it they could be set free in their money in this regard.

    • Yes, I’ve heard that belief too Carol. Money isn’t evil – it just intensifies the characteristics of a person. Money is an extremely useful tool and in the hands of a kind and generous person/s – can help achieve some amazing results.

  • Fascinating! I’m intrigued by the Money Types, though I didn’t recognize my parents in these three, I believe I recognized myself in both the first and second! This post also reminded me of the song, “Children Will Listen” by Stephen Sondheim. True and chilling.

    • Thanks Nancy – perhaps your parents fit into either of the other two Money Types – The Money Type of Value or The Money Type of Status. It certainly is true and chilling to think that we unknowingly are passing on lessons to our children that may unfortunately be more harmful than helpful to them in the long run. I’m always very mindful of what I do and say around my children.

  • Definitely makes me re-look at the money signals I’m giving my children. Thanks for such an insightful message.

    • My pleasure Debra. This is certainly I’m very careful about around my children too.

  • Victoria Gazeley

    I love that poem – thanks so much for sharing it, and your thoughts on how some commonly accepted discipline practices can be detrimental to the development of healthy adults. Sadly, some of them are all too common. The information on the money types is so valuable as well. Brilliant!

    • Thanks Victoria – I love that poem too! Glad you enjoyed the article too!

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