Teaching kids financial responsibility is an important task for parents and educators. Before I began writing professionally, I worked for nearly a decade in the investment industry. I saw the power and influence of money for the good and for the bad. I always knew a top priority for my children would be to give them the tools and the life skills to be responsible with their money.
One concept that resonates throughout the Montessori curriculum is that if children understand the parts of a plant, the parts of an animal, the parts of the earth and so on, they will develop a respect and love for those things in our world. Why not do the same with money? Teach kids about money, the parts of a coin, yes, but also the more abstract ideas of how to manage their money and what it means to work hard at a job that earns a paycheck to pay for food, a roof over our heads and clothes on our backs. For younger children, the abstract ideas are difficult to grasp but there are concrete ways to begin planting the seeds of financial responsibility. I truly believe that much.
So I present an approach to introducing children to financial responsibility: my ABCs
ACT as you want your child to act. In other words, set an example. Talk to your children about the decisions you're making and why with food, with clothing, with extras, even with big purchases like a home and car. Make sure they observe you doing research, gathering information, trying to make a good financial decision. Talk to them about it. Walk them through the decision. Write checks in front of them. Keep a penny jar as a visual savings bank for the family.
BANK: Sounds old fashioned but take a trip to the bank. Introduce them to the actual process of banking. Speak to a teller. Show them the deposit slips. Point out the vault. Write out a check, a deposit slip, go through the process. Younger children need concrete hands on ways of learning. Showing them an online bank account just doesn't have the same learning impact.
Checkbook: Another old fashioned tool that comes in handy for more than a Pretend Play station at your home. Show your child a check. Explain to your child what it is, the parts of the slip of paper and where it goes once it leaves your hands.
Education: Generally educate your child about the money system, yes, but also remind them that education, especially higher education, is not entirely for free whether you pay for it with taxes or otherwise. This lesson will be an important one that carries with them through adulthood and enable them to make better life decisions.
Here are a few posts I've written on the topic of teaching kids about money:
Teaching Kids about Money: First Two Steps
3 Ways to Learn Financial Financial Responsibility
Testing Your Financial Knowledge
Lunch Money Savings Lesson
Teaching Your Child to Help Without Reward
9 Ways to Teach Money Sense at Any Age
Simple Ways to Teach Preschoolers Financial Responsibility
5 Tips for Teaching Kids about Money
Allowance: Do You or Don't You?
Stay tuned for tomorrow's segment…
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