Basic Principles of Cultivating Money-Conscious Kids:
* Remember, just because you might be able to afford to buy your children something, doesn’t mean that you should. Teaching them sustainable money habits and preparing them for adulthood is the most loving thing you can do for them – way more than buying them the latest iPhone…
*Seth recommends giving kids a weekly or monthly allowance to help them begin to learn how to budget, save and spend responsibly. However, he also says that an allowance should always be attached to a set of responsibilities or a job around the house – and no, little Jonny brushing his teeth does not count.
Teaching kids the value of earning their own money pays off – big time! It helps them develop a healthy work ethic and builds confidence. It also teaches kids to respect authority, adds meaning to anything they decide to spend their hard earned cash on, and you will likely see the results reflected in their report cards too!
* It may be difficult, but don’t fall victim to any guilt-trips and sob stories your kids may give you. It’s okay to provide for your child, but once you start rewarding “explanations” instead of “efforts,” you’re putting yourself on a very slippery and expensive slope.
* As much as your child may kick and scream, daily routines are good for children. Adults have them as employers and employees, so children should get used to them early. Do not fall in the trap of using money or special privileges as payment for your child completing their daily routines.
* When old enough, be sure to discuss with your children the economy, banking, credit, debt, savings, investments and all the other matters related to money. It’s okay (and necessary) to have a sense of humor about the topic, but be sure that the seriousness and dangers of financial irresponsibility are always conveyed! Financial acumen is truly the gift that keeps on giving …
–Seth Rockman holds a B.S. and M.S.W. from Rutgers University and has over seventeen years of experience working with at-risk kids and families in New York and New Jersey. He currently holds a top position as a social worker at a large public high school in Brooklyn. To read more visit realteenissues.com.
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