Teaching Parents Is Futile

Suzanne says her parents are terrible with money. How can she teach them Dave's principles? Dave tells her she probably can't.

QUESTION: Suzanne on Twitter says her parents are terrible with money. How can she teach them Dave’s principles? Dave tells her she probably can’t.

ANSWER: Suzanne, you probably can’t. My grandmother used to say, “Those convinced against their will are of the same opinion still.” You can’t get somebody to do something that they don’t want to do. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. When you start trying to teach your parents about money, you run into what I’ve heard called Powdered Butt Syndrome. Once someone has powdered your butt, they don’t want your opinion about sex or money.

As parents age or if you have a particular skill, sometimes they might ask your opinion, but it’s hard for them to take you seriously even if you are a world-renowned expert, because you’ll always be their little girl. If you think they can listen, that’s fine. But you’re better off getting them to an expert who’s not you, even if that expert isn’t as smart as you. Very seldom does the direct approach yield positive results with your parents.

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