How I do I make my children understand the value of money?

Today I’m actually very thankful, to a parent, who has written in this question, that all of us face at one point or the other in our lives, as parents, with our children. So the question is, “How do I make my children realize the value of money, how do I make my children value money?” Well, the five strategies for today…

1) In the world of abundance, we are not allowed to say that money does not grow on trees. We are meant to say that money does grow on trees. So if you took this metaphor, with your children, and told them “Just imagine if money grew on trees, and what would happen if you plucked the fruit when it was not ripe? Or you picked the flowers before they were ready to bloom? What would happen then? You would not be able to enjoy the fruit, and it would not be able to multiply. Because ripe fruits, when they are full, the seeds multiply in the universe and create more fruit, and therefore, more money.”

2) The old-fashioned piggy bank. I know in the good old days we used to have those clay piggy banks, and we used to take a hammer and break them, or just smash them. And the joy of seeing money splatter all over was very good. I would encourage you, at least for your little children, to buy a little piggy bank. And then, to get them to put money they receive, during birthdays or now because with the impending holidays, from aunt, uncles, grandparents, if they are receiving any money, to keep putting it into the piggy bank.

And there is another topic within this, is about rewarding children for doing chores at home, or for getting any good marks. And here I feel that children are meant to keep their rooms tidy, children are meant to help around the house. But yes, if they do something WAY beyond the call of duty, then it’s ok to reward them, but once in a while. And also, children have to understand that when they do well in school, when they get good marks, it’s something that is going to benefit them in the long run. So giving them money, for getting good marks, is something that I would ask you not to do. But yes, if they have got something superb, they have been selected to be the house-captain, school-captain, or if they got the all-rounder award, then yes go ahead and buy them a gift or whatever else it is to make them really happy because yes they do deserve it. But just to reward them money for chores, and for doing well in school, think about that. And for teenagers, take them to the bank and start a savings account. And get them into the habit of taking money to the bank every time, like I said, for birthdays, and getting presents from people like relatives, or whatever. Get them to go to the bank and deposit it. And that will help them to learn about managing their money, and what actually happens in a bank. It’s a good start towards their future, when they will be going to college and will need to manage their money anyway.

3) Involve your children in some real cause. So given the heat, the summer heat, especially here in Dubai where you see laborers and gardeners and other people working in the heat. Maybe go with your children to go the grocery store and buy cool drinks for them – the laborers, or buy foodstuff for the laborers. And get your children to actually hand it out, and realize that the amount of money spent at the grocery store quenched the thirst of so many people. And how they value it, versus how the children can just blow up the same amount of money in buying themselves the latest gadgets. So involve your children in the real life, with people they can see, touch and feel rather than just putting it into an account or putting it towards a charitable cause (please go ahead and do that) but also get your children to actually connect with people who are working so hard and toiling in this heat, and being away from their families. And your children will realize how much they value a cold drink in the summer.

4) Pocket money. For younger children, from the ages 12 and above, I think it is a good idea to give them pocket money, for their monthly expenditures. So if it is buying a snack in school, going out to the movies with their friends, or buying snacks at the movies. For all these little outings, give them a stabilized amount of pocket money and get them to manage their finances in that month, from that pocket money. And that way they will know, if they want to save for something else they want to buy, that will inculcate the habit of saving.

5) What kind of a role model are you? As soon as the latest gadget is introduced in the market, are you the parent who is running and buying that latest gadget? If there is a new brand of a bag, are you going and buying that bag for yourself? And if you are with your family and children are you doing impulse buying? What kind of a role model are you? Because yes, children don’t always listen, but they see and they observe and they in vive. So if you want your children to value money, you as a parent, as their role model, need to show they how you value money.

So I hope that answers your question for today, and helps you put in some strategies into helping your children value money. So the five strategies are:

1) Talk to them about the metaphor of the tree.
2) Buy them a piggy bank or start a savings account for older children.
3) Involve your children with real people, in a charitable cause.
4) Start the habit of pocket money for children above the ages of 11 and 12.
5) Be the role model that you want your children to be.

And the action point for you today is, to either go with your teenage child to the bank and start a savings account or buy a piggybank for the little ones. And let me know how that goes!

Do keep sending me those emails, and for children coaching, or adult coaching, you can email me on sunainaathena@gmail.com or Facebook: Athena Coaching Solutions or call me on (+971) 56 1399033.