At the end of July, Sally and Henry presented “Family Business Governance: Legacy or Lunacy?”. The presentation was featured in an article in the Reading Eagleclick here to view! The Reading Eagle titled their article “Teach Your Children Well”. They’re not wrong; educating the next generation is such an important factor to the success of a family business.

On September 27, we will be discussing the topic of Parenting, Wealth and Legacy with John A. Warnick. (Click here for more information!)

As a parent of three young children, ages 14-9, and having a husband in a third-generation family business, I often consider what our children will take away from our teachings. This summer, as a family, we volunteered for a week at Bethany Birches Camp in Vermont. We worked with over sixty twelve- to fourteen-year olds, and discussed the role of money and its value in our society. Many different perspectives were shared from kids who had money, and kids who didn’t. What is media and society telling us? How is it influencing the way we value ourselves?

One of my biggest soapboxes (ok, I may have more than one!) is that I don’t want my kids to measure themselves against the world’s yardstick of success. The legacy I want to leave my children is one of practical knowledge of the necessity of money, while staying focused on having goals that will be meaningful and worthy. It starts with how we as parents model that to them.

In the July 2012 issue of Family Giving News, there is a great article on this subject. It discusses 3 areas that influence the way kids develop philanthropy as an adult. They are:

1. Financial Literacy
2. Voluntary Service
3. Modeling Positive Behavior

What is Your Legacy?

What kind of legacy are you leaving? Which behaviors are you modeling? In conclusion, join us on September 27. We’ll continue the discussion and learn best practices from other family businesses who want to teach their children well.

Sally Derstine

Managing Partner, Senior Family Business Advisor

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