Many of the parents I know refuse to talk to their children about money. I frequently hear from teachers that, by the time the schools start teaching money (somewhere around the 2nd or 3rd grade) a lot of kids still don’t even know the difference between a nickle and a dime. Not much changes as the children get older.
A lot of the parents are embarrassed. That’s unfortunate because it provides some of the best life lessons we can teach our children. You can’t expect a child to learn from your mistakes and make a better life than you’ve had if you aren’t willing to have the money talk.
There are a lot of great books and resources available for just exactly how to handle the money talk with grace and ease. Here are a few you may want to look into.
ThriveTime for Teens Board Game – Created by Sharon Lechter, co-author of Rich Dad Poor Dad with Robert Kyiosaki, this game is meant to teach teens how to manage money.
Cashflow for Kids – The kids version of Robert Kyiosaki’s popular Cashflow 101 board game, this game serves to teach children 6 and up about how to make money work for them.
The Entitlement Trap: How to Rescue Your Child with a New Family System of Choosing, Earning, and Ownership – A great book that challenges some of the sacred cows of parenting and replaces them with values that will save kids (and their parents) from a lifetime of dependence and disabling debt.
Biz in a Boxx – Workbooks and materials necessary for children to start and run their own business. The workbooks (age appropriate) go through lessons the children will need to know to effectively get started and keep it going. This is appropriate even for children who’s parents do not know much about running a business.
For younger children, the first steps are to help them begin learning the different coins and currency and how to identify them. When they want a candy bar from the store, help them to pay for it themselves rather than just including it in your purchase. Slowly begin to introduce higher priced items.
The most important thing you can do is just do it. Keep the emotion to a minimum and resist any urge to use this time as a lesson on politics or relationships. Those things won’t be beneficial in helping children learn to take responsibility for their finances.
Whether you are living paycheck to paycheck and barely making ends meet or getting ready to sell Spelling Manor, you have a lot to share with your children about money. And, if you don’t happen to be selling Spelling Manor, then you can probably learn a little bit yourself along the way.
Select one book or program or read up on a few articles on line and begin a dialogue with your children about money. Keep it short. No more than 5 or 10 minutes for younger children and no more than 30 minutes with teens unless they are active and engaged fully. Continue the money talk on a regular basis.
When to Seek a Coach
Sometimes we need extra help. Consider contacting us to set up a session in the following situations.
- Two parents disagree on how money is to be managed or taught.
- There are a lot of emotional issues around money.
- The thought of even attempting this task is too overwhelming.