Sorry to say it, but this holiday season is also a teachable moment that we parents shouldn’t let go to waste. Teaching our kids about money and financial responsibility isn’t easy, so the sooner we start the better it is for all concerned.
Our economy makes it pretty clear that an awful lot of people don’t have sufficient financial responsibility, but that’s not a good reason to pass the curse along to our kids. Perhaps some allowances can be made for adults who didn’t really grow up with easy access to credit, so never learned about it as kids. But we owe it to our children to teach them what we’ve all learned from our mistakes.
And the Holiday’s “I Want…” time is the perfect place to start. USA Today had a great article with practical tips for using the holidays to begin teaching about money and financial responsibility.
The kids tip I like the most is the idea that giving some money as a gift is a good teaching tool. It puts the child in the position of actually experiencing the trade-offs between high or over priced goods and more reasonably priced items that don’t take all the money. A very valuable lesson, to be sure. Combined with a family charitable gift during this season of giving, a gift in which all participate and give up a little something, and a whole lot has been taught.
There’s also a piggy bank with sections for spending, saving, charity and investment that is a terrific teaching tool and potentially a good holiday present as well.
So while giving your kids a great holiday season this year, give them a little extra by teaching about money and being financially smart.