I’m Teaching My Kids to Cheat
I’m teaching my daughters, ages 10 & 13, key skills. I make sure they do their homework and encourage them in sports. Since I’m a good mom, I’m also teaching them to cheat. I’m teaching them skills to get ahead that anyone else would say, “That’s not fair, I never even had a chance to learn that!”
As an investor in real estate, and a parent, I have an unfair advantage. My kids can actually watch me work. When my engineer husband takes the kids to work with him, they don’t learn how to be engineers. (“But Dad, you just sit all day and type.”) Investing in and managing real estate can happen at home, over time, is audience friendly, and can be taught to young apprentices.
It starts by inviting your kids to the table. When talk turns to business, don’t ask the kids leave. Instead, invite them to participate. If possible, when I meet with a realtor, a property manager, or visit a property, I bring my kids. I teach them to look people in the eye, to shake their hands, to ask questions. Think they’d be bored? Only if you treat them like audience members instead of participants. It’s amazing to see the pride and interest light up in their eyes when you ask what they see, or what they would decide. I’ve been delighted with the insights my two daughters have shared when asked their opinion. Yep, this even means having them watch as a deal goes sideways.
Second, you’ve got to share the numbers. Get over it. On Bigger Pockets people share the specifics of their deal but would be afraid to share that level of detail with their kids. Why? They’re worried about privacy. Worried the kids will blab it to their friends. Just start small. Share a few numbers, and remind them the privilege of knowing the numbers means they need to keep it quiet. Then expand to more numbers when they’re ready. I think you’ll find they’re happy to learn to be private with the numbers for a chance to be privy to the information.
Get transparent. Narrate what you see, what you think, what you do and why. Tease out the lesson and make it hit home. Notice when a tenant has paid their rent late and talk about what that means. Discuss the unexpected repair cost and then discuss the reserve fund you have set aside so that the unplanned expenditure is just part of business instead of a painful event.
Now involve the kids. I started by bringing the kids along. They’ve helped select properties to buy. They’ve done make-ready repairs and cleaning. Then they graduated to doing my QuickBooks and being partial investors in some of my properties. It’s amazing how well they learn the lessons when they have skin in the game.
I’m teaching my kids to cheat. They’ve learned to start the race before the start gun ever goes off. The list of unfair advantages they have is growing daily.
My kids are helping me cheat too. They give me a powerful answer to the question of why am I doing this. Not just so I can present a financially strong future to them on a silver platter but rather so that they are ready to launch from the nest and be financially independent from me!
Join me in teaching your children valuable life skills, including how to cheat. Please share in the comments what you have taught your children that will give them an edge in life.