I recently attended a family function where all the kids received monetary gifts. Immediately, my kids gave me the money they received to deposit in their piggy bank. By the following day, some of the other kids had used all their money to buy sweets and drinks from the corner store down the road. I had introduced the concept of a piggy bank to my kids from a very early age and as a result, whenever they receive monetary gifts, they always insist I deposit it in the piggy bank. Not once do I recall my kids asking me to give them their money to buy sweets or toys. On the flip side, I find that a lot of kids do the reverse. Without guidance, these kids may grow up with a habit of spending all they have and not knowing how to save or invest.
At what age should parents start teaching their kids about money and related issues such as financial planning, financial intelligence, financial independence and financial freedom?
Personally, I feel it is never too early to start teaching children about money. Once kids are able to talk, it is important to start introducing the concept of money, the value of money, how to manage money, how to make money as well as the importance of investing money.
Unfortunately, many of us were not taught by our parents and today we find ourselves in financially detrimental circumstances such as debt overload. Furthermore, financial intelligence is not taught in schools. The Bible says “train a child in the way he/she should go and he would not depart from it.’ If we start teaching our kids from a very early age, it would become a lifestyle and they would grow up to be successful in handling money.
How do we teach our kids?
There are a lot of resources available to us as parents of this present generation. The internet provides access to unlimited resources and information regarding financial intelligence. It is important that parents read books and speak to experts in the field such as financial coaches. As part of family time, parents should also encourage their children to play games that teach financial intelligence such as monopoly. There are also movies on financial intelligence and financial intelligence clubs.
Some of the areas parents should focus on include
1. The concept and value of money
2. The importance of budgeting and how to budget
3. How to save
4. How to set financial goals
5. How to earn and make money
6. How to manage money
7. The importance of giving
8. The importance of investing
The importance of teaching our kids about money from a very early age cannot be overemphasized especially in this era of credit overload and social/peer pressure. It is important that we teach our kids about money, just as it is important to teach them about integrity, ethics and how to read and write.
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