Children are great imitators, learning by what they see other people, especially their parents, doing. Children also learn how to care for financial matters by observing what their parents do, so setting a good example will help them later on in life financially.
Children who spend money without considering what consequences it could bring are usually raised by parents that act the same way. It would not be wise to teach children that money is simply a means to an end. Instead, emphasize that money is important for physical necessities like food and shelter but is not the most important thing in life.
The respectful use of money will help ensure that money is always available when necessary. Money problems are the main cause of arguments for married couples, and parents with differing backgrounds will usually have even more difficulty seeing eye to eye financially. In order to prevent children from being affected by such issues, parents need to come to an accord on how they will care for money matters as a family.
Parents have not all had great examples of how to save money in their pasts to look to, and learning to do so does not happen overnight. Reading books or taking classes on money management can help end bad financial practices and will also influence children in positive ways when it is shared with them, perhaps at family meetings.
Get the family together and make a financial plan if you don’t already have one in place. Make the kids part of the process so that they learn the proper use of money in a family. Talking together about problems and solutions to money problems can be beneficial as well.
My parents never had excess amounts of money while I was growing up, and I spent everything I made on stuff I wanted when I started working. Despite working hard, I spent my earnings in an effort to not feel like I was missing out on anything.
When I became an adult, these same practices presented me and my family with financial difficulties. Although my parents were not wrong, they could have been more right by allowing me to be part of financial decisions or at least talking to me about money more. I just had to go with what I saw as the truth about money.
Teaching children about money is certainly preferable to simply leaving them alone to figure out financial things. Let children be part of conversations on big financial adjustments in the family so they know how things will be handled. This does not mean, however, that children have to know about every little decision you make regarding money.
Children’s view of money can definitely be affected by how their parents choose to handle it, for better or for worse. It is important to remember that kids are always watching, so let them see good financial practices that they can learn to imitate.