Do you think it’s too early to teach financial literacy to your kids? Does the subject of teaching smart money skills to your kids make you feel confident or rather uncomfortable?
Many single mothers, and people in general, struggle with this subject because they believe they are lacking sufficient knowledge when it comes to financial literacy. As a result, many children grow up either not knowing anything about managing money well, or adopt poor money habits from family members and peers who also lack in financial literacy. When polled, most adults said they wished they learned money skills early in life. The good thing is we don’t need to perpetuate this vicious generational cycle. We can educate our children early what it means to manage money well.
Even if you are no money genius yourself, there are easy and age-appropriate ways to teach financial literacy to your kids. These simple steps will not only help you empower your children to be comfortable with managing money through their life but also teach them to appreciate the financial resources in your single-parent family.
1. Recognize that children are smarter than we might think!
Did you know that by the age of three children can understand some basic money concepts?
While they might not yet understand complex financial notions, they can learn about exchanging goods, making choices, and valuing the resources you have as a family. In the video below, a finance guru Beth Kobliner explains the key financial concepts you need to teach your children between the ages of 3 and 7. She states that these are prime years to start building the foundation for your children’s financial knowledge.
2. Don’t let your financial situation limit your kids.
It’s true, many people don’t receive a proper financial education in life. Often, they do not receive any at all. Even if you are not in the best shape financially, you need to believe that your children can do better when they grow up.
Set the right example when you are shopping, saving, or talking about money with others. Start budgeting together with your kids and make it fun. Don’t complain about money, or say out loud that money is hard to get in life and are the root of all evil. Children subconsciously record all the messages they repeatedly hear from you, so let those messages be empowering!
3. Teach your children about money the way rich people do.
Did you know that many rich people do not just blindly pass their wealth to their children, but also teach financial literacy early to their children? Listen to Robert Kiyosaki and Oprah talk how you can teach your children the same financial lessons rich people teach their offsprings.
4. Use interactive and age-appropriate ways to teach about money.
If you haven’t really talked about money to your kids until now, you might be uncertain as to what are the best ways to begin might be. Teaching financial literacy to your kids means having a progression plan. You need to start with very basic concepts and gradually advance to more complex financial lessons as they get older.
Parents magazine has some really good and practical ideas on teaching your kids about money in their age-by-age guide.
5. Consistently praise your children for making smart financial decisions.
Praise plays a big role in children’s motivation. Everyone loves to be praised, and we all are not getting enough of it! Learn to proudly praise your children whenever they make good financial decisions. Whether it is for saving to buy a special toy, giving to others, or trying out ways to raise money for their school, let them hear how proud you are of them!
If they show unappreciation for what you give them as a parent, it might be a good opportunity to start instilling the attitude of gratitude in your kids. People who understand the value of money tend to be also appreciative of the things they receive from others. If you need help with fostering genuine gratitude in your child, follow these steps offered by The Center for Parenting Education.
Raising a financially literate and successful adult is not as difficult as it might appear. Yes, you can and need to teach smart money lessons to your kids early in life. By using age-appropriate lessons, modeling financial discipline yourself, and having confidence in your child’s ability to make the right choices, you are making the best investment in their future.