So often I hear parents lament either about how their children can’t seem to manage their money; always ‘borrowing,’ and never returning the cash or spending their allowance on things that seem impractical. Or, living at home without contributing to the monthly nut.
Like Personal Growth on Facebook
Teaching our children good financial habits is easier the younger they are. Get an early start.
The most subtle form of teaching is modeling; children naturally copy their parents, for better or for worse. Whatever your kids do as teenagers or preteens was set in motion much earlier. If you want your children to act responsibly about money, you need to lead by example.
Steps you can take you can take to help your children manage their money better:
- Show respect. If you make a commitment like giving a weekly allowance, make sure you keep to a schedule. Sunday evenings are a good way to start the week.
- Build trust. If your child borrows money from you, make sure the pay-back date is realistic and that fees will apply if late. Don’t become the family lender. Treat the borrowers as a bank would treat them.
- Pay the piper. When it comes to bill paying, sit with your child and have them write out the checks. Let them see the family budget–it will give them perspective (e.g., paying the electric bill versus buying the new sneakers they want).
- Earning $$. Paying your child for certain chores helps them feel of ownership for a job well done. Keep track on a chart on the refrigerator, and pay them every Sunday without waiting for them to ask you for the money.
- Talk privately with your partner about money. Have your disagreements behind closed doors.
- Be consistent. Both parents have to be on the same page about all decisions; if not, your child will find a way to manipulate one of you to get what they want.
- Honor boundaries. If your child wants to spend her money on the worst outfit in the store, say nothing. She earned the $$, it’s her right to spend it as she choses. Kids need to feel a sense of power and respect from you, and that starts with not over-stepping the boundaries.
- Be a good listener. Patience is the most profound statement of love.
- Demonstrate charity. Teaching kindness and generosity starts at home.
Monkey see, Monkey do.