Teaching our Children Well: More is Caught than Taught

Proverbs 22:6 says,

teaching our children well

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

More is caught than taught

We all have the best intentions when it comes to teaching our children how to live a life of significance. Have you heard the saying: More is caught than taught? Ponder that for a moment – ask yourself if you’ve been telling your children about how to live life, or if you’ve shown them through your example. There’s another saying: Do as I say, not as I do (hopefully, you don’t use that one too often). With any luck, if we do our jobs well, our kids will experience much more success in life than we could ever dream of.

Teaching our children

From what we eat, to the words we speak, to how we spend our time and money, when it comes to teaching our children, more is definitely caught than taught. I think this applies to children of any age, but the younger our kids are when we realize this, the better. Having said that, I’m a single mom with a teenager and a twenty-something, so if I still have hope, you can, too!

What’s your legacy?

When I think of leaving a legacy to my children, two areas come to mind: health and finances. Despite living a pretty healthy lifestyle myself growing up, somewhere between my childhood and my forties, I managed to pack on excess pounds and had some major health problems, but thankfully I finally realized that if I wanted to be around to see my grandchildren, I had better make some changes. Today my kids see the sacrifices I make to get up for my early morning workouts, they’ve seen me lose 30 pounds through a lot of hard work, but they also see that I am a work in progress and that I do have setbacks. I love them for encouraging me to work hard (and sometimes pulling french fries out of my hands – honest truth!) and for being great accountability partners!

When it comes to finances, my parents came from the generation that knew how to live on less than they made, buying things only when they had saved up enough money and could actually pay for it. I remember thinking how odd my mother was for buying an “old” car paying cash, when many of my friends had nicer, newer cars. Now I realize that everything isn’t always what it seems, and that the guy rolling down the street in the fancy BMW may be a bit more concerned with his social status than his bank account. I wonder if Mom realized this life lesson she was teaching me.

Related: Paper or Plastic? 3 Reasons to Use Cash and Cut Credit Cards

The new normal?

I see those debt consolidation commercials and realize how far away from my mom’s generation we’ve become. Today, the new “normal” is slapping down some plastic to pay for what we want (not necessarily what we need). Managing monthly payments has just become, well, a part of life. A new Pew Research Report revealed that a record 1 in 5 households now owe student loan debt.

I’ve heard some of my friends say they will always have a car payment. I, myself, had over $50,000 in credit card debt that I paid off (thanks to Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University class) after years of being just plain irresponsible. Having debt has become so normal, some feel there is no way out. But there IS a way out! We DON’T have to accept hopelessness. It’s hard, but NOT impossible!

There’s hope

I’ve struggled through some really tough times, but I’ve always had hope. My faith gives me strength, and I actively search out other like-minded people who I can learn from and who can offer me support.

I’ve experienced how the pressures of being overweight and in debt can weigh you down (no pun intended), but I’ve seen how doing the little things can add up to big successes if we commit to walking the walk a little each day. Life gets in the way of the plan sometimes, but the beauty is we can still get back in the game and head toward the finish line.

Just as my generation had it a little harder than my parents did, I know that my kids will face challenges, too. More than ever, I want to be an example for them, to show them that we can live a life of significance, with the talents that God gave us and for the purpose He designed in us.

smart money smart kidsI’ve applied to be a part of a launch team for the new book by Dave Ramsey and his daughter, Rachel Cruze. In their book, Smart Money Smart Kids, The Ramseys will be teaching parents “how to raise money-smart kids in a debt-filled world”. That’s right up my alley!

I will definitely be grateful if I am chosen, and will share what I learn here on the blog, so all of us can learn some awesome strategies for leaving a legacy to the next generation!

 Listen, my child, and be wise, and guide your heart on the right way. ~ Proverbs 23:19.

To your success and beyond,




UPDATE: Out of 700 applicants, I was one of 157 people chosen for the Smart Money Smart Kids launch team! Stay tuned for more updates as I dive in! :)

Next in series:

4 Money Lessons to Teach Your Teen Before He Enters the Real World
How Craigslist Helped Me Raise Money Smart Kids

1 thought on “Teaching our Children Well: More is Caught than Taught”

  1. Great post Laurie!
    With parents like you out there I know our next generation has a shot. Combine your tenacity with a Hope in Christ and well “if our God is for us then who can stand against us?” No-freaking-body that’s who!

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