I say all of the time, to whoever will listen, how great real estate investing is and how everybody should get involved. I truly believe that it is the best way for the average person to control their own retirement.
If you have got bitten by the bug too and have started to invest, I would recommend that you get your kids involved as soon as possible. If they are really young just have them tag along as you go and do repairs. As they get older have them cut the grass or go with you as you view new prospective purchases. Teach them about the numbers and how the rent comes in, then you have these costs with a positive cash flow at the end.
If possible purchase a rental property when they are young. Make them a partner in that property. Have them do work every year so they associate themselves with that property. By the time they hit college age a sale or refinance of that property should go a long way to pay for their tuition – all paid over time by your tenants.
Alternatively buy a multi-family property when they go to college. They can live in the property and rent out the other suites. They would be the on-site manager, collect the rents, deal with small repairs (either personally or by calling in the proper trade) and handle tenant squabbles. This teaches them responsibility and some valuable management skills, but also the income from the other tenants would pay for their living expenses while in college.
My dad was a farmer who was starting to ease into retirement when I was in my mid teens. He got interested in real estate investing and used to take me along with him as he viewed potential properties. We would then go home and I would key in the important numbers into an Excel spreadsheet that I had created to analyze cash flow and return on investment. At the age of 15 I had learned about leverage, mortgages and positive cash flow.
While I never actually bought my first rental property until I was 33, I knew way more than my peers about investing and finance. I bought my first personal residence when I was 20 years old.
Read more about this in Cash Management in Real Estate Investing.