"You have 16 years to teach him your values about education, how to treat others, money, responsibility, what words are inappropriate, table manners, etc. It's all a package. You can either have faith in your own ability as parents or not."
It can be so easy to question one's own parenting skills, but I guess it's also important to remember that our parents were able to do so, and lucky as we are to have good parents, we are doubly lucky to have a model/method to follow from our own experiences.
"Maybe I was naive and lucky, but I never considered not telling my children about their savings or not removing myself as custodian when they reached 18. My children knew from about the age of six (they were told before, but might not have understood the concepts) that we were saving money for them to go to college. Either then or by ten, they knew it was "their money," but they were expected to use it for college. By twelve, they knew the word "disinherited." Of course we never talked to them about going to college, only about going to graduate or professional school. [You shouldn't have to explain the benefits of going to middle school, and we treated going to college the same way - it's just another step along your path.]"
I thought that this was an interesting approach and I found it quite clever. I actually agree with it, except I have concerns about putting implied pressure (internal within the child, or external from parents) on the child to get into a graduate / professional program. Now that I think about it, this might have been what my parents did with me! Hmm...having said all that, one can only push a child so far before they have to go forth on their own.
"I always thought honesty was a good policy, and children learn by what you do as much as by what you say. That's just one reason why I wouldn't hide the account if I were you."
The first part is a no-brainer. The whole post is a good reminder of things to consider. Lots for me to think about.