Age Appropriate Conversations with Children about Wealth.

Age Appropriate Conversations with Children about Wealth.

Wealth and Kids: When and how to have the conversation.

One of the most common questions I get from concerned parents in my role as a family therapist is ‘how do I talk to my kid’s about our money?’  While lots of family governance professionals have opinions about this, too few base their responses on empirical data. In this article for Tatler, I discuss a Cambridge study that empirically found children can understand money and the power inherent in it around age three and have their behaviours around money formalize around age seven. You can find my quotes in this regard below and the full article on this link.


Licensed Family Therapist Dr. Paul Hokemeyer, founder of Drayson Mews International tells Tatler, ‘I advise parents to start educating their children whilst they are quite young about the power and responsibilities inherent in the health stewardship of wealth. This education can start as soon as children are old enough to conceptualise money as a construct.’ 

Dr. Paul points to a study from Cambridge that revealed this specific brain development occurs in children between the ages of three and four ‘and that by age seven, behaviours around money have started to develop.’ He adds: ‘I do not, however, advise parents to start the transfer of wealth until a child is 18, ideally the transfer would occur after a child is 22-25. At this stage of their development, their prefrontal cortex is on line and they are capable of making intelligent, as opposed to irrational and impulsive, decisions.’ However, Dr. Paul warns: ‘It’s also important to know that waiting until a child is say 30 and then dropping the news on them that they possess substantial wealth is risky as well. I’ve seen too many cases where the latter strategy sets the child up for cognitive overload and deep emotional distress.’


UHNW, wealth, family wealth, kids, talking to kids about wealth money, family wellness, mental health, author, therapist, family business, private banking, family governance, hokemeyer, dr. paul, author, global leaders, health care, mental health, behavioural health, London, Zurich, Dubai, Fragile Power, nonfiction, book.

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