By Zuko Komisa
When it comes to teaching your children how to handle money, you need to start by acknowledging the biggest parenting lesson: kids do what you do, not what you say they should do – leading by example. The following lessons will assist your child to get on the right path to financial literacy from an early age.
Expose them to the family’s finances
Start early by taking them to the bank with you, show them bank statements, get them to make a suggestion on how to stretch the rands you are making. In a nutshell, give your children sufficient exposure to how money is made and spent properly.
Encourage talking about money
The conversation of money should be had at a very early stage of a child’s life. Children need to be taught that money is merely a tool not to be feared, but to be understood and used well.
Encourage them to read money literature early
There are tonnes of bookstore filled with money literacy books. Two great books they should read are Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad Poor Dad for Teens”, as well as Sam Beckbessinger’s new book “Manage Your Money Like a Grownup: A Teen’s Guide.”
Acknowledge the gift of time
The perception that time is money has led to parents buying their children expensive gifts because they feel guilty about not spending enough time with them. The reality is, time is the most important commodity we all have. You cannot replace it, borrow it or exchange it. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. So spend as much time as possible with your children.
A few more important tips:
- Make your lessons practical. When you are with them, use cash and coins to show them the value of a transaction and money.
- Encourage them to be different and smart, instead of falling for the everyone is doing itphilosophy
- Get them to pay your bills for you, the rent, car licence renewal, traffic fines.
- Show your kids the value of assets and teach them to take good care of them.
Teaching them these lessons will rewire their brains to be conscious about the value of money, and sooner than you think, they will be efficiently managing their own finances like responsible grownups