Dear parents, are you trying to figure out how to introduce to your kids to money and its concepts but not sure how to get started?
As a parent myself, I understand that we all want the best for our children and we want them to have a bright future ahead by helping them develop the best habits — from work ethics to time management to managing money wisely. And indeed, one of the hardest (and most important) things to teach kids is the value of money.
If you’re interested to know more about why teaching your kids about money is important, read my article here.
Early bird is the way to go
Research by government-back Money Advice Service (MAS) shows that money habits are formed as early as age 7, so if you want them to have good money habits when they grow up, it’s very important that you begin to introduce the right money habits as they go through their important developmental years. The more they know about money and what it is, the easier it will be for you to teach them how to save and spend it wisely.
Oftentimes, we dismiss children the moment we approach or reach decisions involving money (like paying the bill at a restaurant or checking out groceries at a supermarket.) The approach I’ll be sharing with you involves the opposite: introduce your kids to money as early as possible. Get them involved and aware of how money works and what it’s used for at an early age.
To introduce your kids to money, start with something as simple as talking about money to your kids. Use every opportunity you can. It doesn’t have to be something as heavy as telling them how hard it is to work for money or very abstract concepts like interest-earning or banking. It can be something as easy as asking for their help in counting the pennies to pay for small transactions or allowing them to partake in the simple practices of having them hand over the money to a vendor.
If you‘re not sure where to start, here are simple tips to get started how to introduce your kids to money:
1. Make daily money decisions visible.
Children are very observant and they pick up a lot from just watching you do things. When you’re out buying groceries at the supermarket, use the opportunity to engage with your child as you line up items on the counter. Let them help you as each item gets scanned and let them see you take money out of your wallet. This creates concrete experiences for them around your household’s money habits.
2. Let your child participate in money moments.
This can be through simple things like letting your child hand over coins or banknotes to the waiter when you pay for a coffee or for food, and letting them receive change.
3. Talk about money moments openly.
After having your child receive the change, you sit down, count, and check the change right beside them. That way, they know that every coin counts.
4. Make money moments engaging and fun.
Whenever possible, relate money-making decisions to goals that are motivating or interesting to your child. You can do this by letting your child actively participate in decisions concerning his/her interest. For example, if your child loves pizza, then try to bring them along when you’re buying the ingredients and let them participate in the exchange process (handing the cash, getting the change back, and counting the change.)
5. Celebrate good money habits and achieving savings goals.
Make use of a child’s tactile and kinesthetic learning for this. You can ask your child to count bills and coins as they put it on the piggy bank and then praise them for doing good work in saving money.
The tips I mentioned above make use of concretizing what money is and what it does. At such a young age, there is no point in trying to discuss the finer and abstract points of money to your child. At this point, the goal is simple and very straightforward: you need to introduce and expose money and monetary practices to your children as much as you can. That way, it becomes easier for you to discuss it with them as they grow up since the concept is not completely foreign to them.
Dear parents, if you have more tips on how to introduce money to your kids, don’t hesitate to share your tips with the community! Together, let’s help our kids grow towards a financially sustainable and secure future.
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