Blog | Personal Finance

What Parents Teach Their Kids About Money

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As a parent, I feel it is extremely important to teach my children about the topic of money. Money is used in our everyday lives… it feeds us, puts clothes on our back, and puts a roof over our heads.

In today's world, money has become plastic. While going to the store, I no longer pull out greenbacks, but a plastic credit card or debit card. From observing children’s reactions, I feel that they have no knowledge of how this magic really works.

While shopping in stores, I hear conversations when a child wants something.  The parent will say… “No we can't afford that,” or “Put it back, it's too expensive.”  It’s sad to watch this programming.  Then at the checkout line, the parent pulls out the magic card and purchases their own items.

I feel that we are confusing our children by not talking openly about the topic of money.  In other words, most people do not teach their children about what money really is because they don’t know themselves.

For example, does the average child under the age of 10 know the difference between credit and debit? Do they know what money is? Do they know that money is just created?

The problem that we face today is a lack of financial intelligence and financial education.  In my opion, to not teach our children about the topic of money is borderline criminal. I say this is because by not teaching our children about money, we are teaching our children to become slaves to money. 

Think of our children in this context; Children are the most brilliant and beautiful gifts that a parent can be blessed with. They're here to teach us, learn from us, and love us.  It is our responsibility to be conscious of the hindering belief systems that our parents have bestowed upon us and not to continue the programming, but to break the chains of restriction.

At a very early age, I began teaching my daughter about the topic of money. Every time we would go to a store, I would allow her to see the transaction.  And to ask her questions: “Haley, do you know what this is?” “Do you know what money is?”  Then the teller would ask, “Is that credit or debit?” I would acknowledge them and say “that is a great question; Haley is that credit or debit?” She would then reply “Daddy what is credit? What is debit?” Simply put, credit is debt, money you owe to someone and debit comes straight out of your bank account.

While traveling to the bank with me, I would teach her about the banking system. As a parent, what I discovered is that my child was very interested in how things worked.

It became more than just “adult errands,” but a way to educate my children and create an adventure in everyday life.

When Haley wants toys, instead of putting the belief system of “I can't afford” or “it's too expensive,” I would ask her questions like:  “Haley how can YOU create it?” For the word “creation” has been extremely important about the topic of money with my children. 

By speaking freely about the topic of money, our daughter, Haley, at seven years old has built a number of part-time businesses.  She's created art and willfully gone around the neighborhood door-to-door selling her masterpieces.

Another part time business she started was from sitting out front of a store with me waiting for mom to finish her shopping.  She took off my hat, placed it upside down, and started singing and dancing.  She learned this from watching street vendors in Waikiki.  In a few short minutes, she created $7 dollars!

She now knows that money is a creation of her thoughts, actions, and creativeness.  Money has nothing to do with labor.  She is eager to talk to people to sell them her creations and discover new ways to create money. It is absolutely fantastic to watch. As a parent, I am extremely pleased with her excitement about what she can create.

With the right coaching, guidance, and wisdom our children can create anything they choose. It is up to us as parents to be patient, humble, and honor our children exactly where they are.  Magnificent!

Original publish date: August 02, 2012

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