Teaching Children about Money

Teaching Children about Money

A Consistent Approach

As a parent, your behavior, conversations and beliefs about money have a direct impact on your child's understanding of finances. There are some very specific steps you can take to ensure that you're sending the messages you really want to send.

The best way to teach your child sound money management habits is by being consistent in the messages you send. And the only way to be consistent is to be aware of your own beliefs and actions surrounding money. Here are some questions that parents can consider and discuss that will help form a consistent message.
  • What habits do my children observe in my own treatment of money? (Emotional spending, paying yourself first, use of credit . . .)
  • What are some age appropriate ways I can involve my child in a family conversation of money? The family grocery budget or long-term savings for a family vacation are concrete enough for children to grasp.
  • Are most money conversations around debt and bills; or are they inclusive of saving and investing methods?
  • Are there areas of finance that scare me or that I'm uncomfortable with? How can I be a positive role model in my own on-going learning process? Letting your child see you reading up on a subject you don't understand sends several great messages.

Ultimately, the more consistent and aware you are of the messages you want your child to learn, the more effective you'll be. Having a family conversation about money is a great place for anyone to begin.

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