Alicia Nelson-Bell, Finance Intern
There is no real right or wrong way or one size fits all when it comes to teaching kids about money because it is so personal. This article will provide some helpful tips to teach money skills to your children. As you (and your partner, if applicable) prepare to teach your children about money, it is important to take a little time to do some self-reflection and think about how you learned about money when you were a child.
As Rachel Cruze says in her book Know Yourself Know Your Money, “Self- awareness is powerful. We are all complex people with different stories and ways of viewing the world. As we better understand ourselves, we realize the unique ways in which we relate with our families and the world.” Self-reflection can help you realize why you do what you do and believe what you do about money, which will affect how your children are taught about money.
You Don’t have to be a Professional Teacher. “More is caught than taught when it comes to teaching children about money” (Rachel Cruze). Children learn more about money through observing the actions and conversations of the people around them. Much of what they learn also comes from reactions to requests to buy or do things and the overall feel in the house around money.
To aid in your self- reflection, consider doing the following activities previously introduced in an Extensions article titled Understanding and Sharing your Emotional History with Money by Linda Skogrand.
As you do your self-reflecting about your childhood money experiences, you may see that there are money habits that you learned from your parents that you liked and want to pass on to your children and others that you may want to modify or eliminate based on the values you want to teach.
Consider the following questions from Cruze’s book in regard to how it was growing up for you and about the environment in which you are creating for your children:
The example that you set for your children will create memories and experiences that will stick with them for years to come and will influence the way they act and view most aspects of life, but especially money.
Some Tips for Teaching Kids about Money:
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