A California woman devised a commitment strategy (or maybe just a bribe) with her kids to keep them debt-free and teach them finance lessons for life. (From New York Times letters section.)
I made a deal with my kids when they went to college. I would pay all their expenses, but they could not have credit cards until they had full-time jobs after graduation. The criticism from friends was that my children would suffer for lack of a credit history. But debt history can be a lifelong problem. The best credit history one can have is a sizable savings account balance.