Table of contents:
Video: Children And Money: How To Build Relationships - Blogs
If Muscovites, as Bulgakov's Woland argued, were spoiled by the housing issue, then the relationship between parents and children was always spoiled by another issue - money. And the present times are no exception. Increasingly, I have to listen to parents' complaints that their children do not know how to handle money at all.
For some, no matter how much you give it, everything is not enough, "as you throw it into the furnace, they instantly let everything you give for a month …" Others don't value money at all: "Just think, only five thousand wooden, well, not five, but fifty, what's the difference … "And overage children simply do not want to work" for a penny ":" What can you buy with this salary? One iPad, and I already have it! " Parents feel helpless and try to understand - who is to blame and what to do, how to behave?
The culture of consumption and money handling has been developing over generations. And we ourselves, it seems, have not yet figured out what place money occupies in our lives. For example, the attitude to money of those who got rich in the nineties - "in the blink of an eye", cannot be compared with how they valued money in families, collecting their capital for decades, from father to son, "for a pretty penny." Add to this the peculiarities of the Russian mentality with its slight disregard for money and the eternal thirst for a holiday, and it will immediately become clear why spending is our favorite national game. Even our poor compatriots live at the maximum of their financial capabilities. It is difficult to imagine a European who huddles in a tiny rented apartment on the outskirts, does not have a stable income, but at the same time buys a luxury car, going into debt for many years to come. And living beyond your means in Russia is normal.
But if, on the one hand, there is “merchant revelry” with its thoughtless spending, then on the other hand, there is hoarding, even acquisitiveness. The hungry war and post-war years, during which our parents grew up, an era of total scarcity, when a coat was a luxury, and oranges were a holiday, when the mezzanines were filled with things "for a rainy day" and "strategic supplies of buckwheat" - all this was imprinted in our memory. here are the roots of our desire to have ten bags, twenty pairs of shoes, five fur coats, etc.
Of course, our children, who live in an atmosphere of such a chaotic, unsystematic attitude to money, have a difficult time - after all, we convey to them contradictory, unclear messages about the role and place of money, which they simply cannot decipher. We also bribe children - we “pay” them for good grades, for helping around the house; we measure with money what money cannot measure - for example, time, love, care; we repeat the attitudes of our parents, who no longer have anything to do with present life; and finally, just try not to talk to your child about money.
Financial educational program
For some reason, we believe that a mature attitude towards money will come to children by itself, as they grow up - like the ability to speak. Perhaps it was once so. But the world of our childhood and the world of our children are two different universes. Therefore, our task is to give them specific guidelines, a kind of "set of rules for handling money," and to organize a "children's financial educational program."
Deal with your values
To develop clear rules for dealing with money for our children, first of all, we must put things in order in our own heads. And here it is important to frankly admit to ourselves what is really valuable to us and what is not very much, what value we attach to money, what we are ready to spend it on and what to sacrifice for it, etc.
Realizing what money really is to us and how it relates to our other values is an important moment to understand ourselves, but it is doubly important when we become parents and are responsible for raising our children. We need to understand what life values our second half, other family members have, what information the child receives from adults and whether the messages from dad and mom always coincide.
Until we understand ourselves and our loved ones, all attempts to teach a child “how to live” will be contradictory and meaningless.
Children need more examples to follow than criticism
Talk about money straight
What to tell children about money? How to say? And whether to speak at all? If we see our task in raising a person capable of independently solving money issues, then talking with a child about money is necessary - this is an integral element of financial education.
In no case should money be mystified, shrouded in an aura of mystery. We must answer all children's questions about money as simply, directly, without irritation and embarrassment.
It is worth starting a "financial educational program" when a child is from two to four years old. It is already possible to explain to a preschooler that money is the equivalent of goods and services, to tell where the salary comes from, why they give change in the store, how many sweets or ice cream could be bought for the amount that would have cost him to repair his broken toy.
We may well discuss some large purchases in the presence of the child, plan a vacation or decide how much money and for what purposes we need to set aside. When a child gets older, you can instruct him to go online, analyze the value for money, find the most profitable option from his point of view. Often, parents, having connected their children to the solution of material issues, are surprised how reasonable and useful their judgments and actions can be.
Every conversation about the family budget, about spending and shopping is an occasion to show the child the correct model for handling money, to pass on your experience to him.
“A person does not need anything beyond what nature has given him. Except for money. "
Learn to handle money
To teach how to use any resource rationally, this resource must be limited. At first, restrictions are introduced from the outside - by the parents. For example, we go with our family to an amusement park and give the child a certain amount of money, explaining that he will not receive anything beyond that. If the child is small, you can first discuss what he is going to spend this amount on - what he wants to buy, how much popcorn to eat, etc. If this is a teenager, you can give him complete freedom. By the end of the day, it will become clear how the child disposed of finances. The point is not to control his spending, but to timely correct the wrong tendencies in dealing with money and strengthen the right ones.
It is very useful to arrange joint shopping trips. Children watch us, imitate our behavior, and adopt our buying preferences. It is even better if we teach them to think for themselves, to be interested in the price and to figure out whether the thing is worth the money.
For a child to have something to learn from, he needs pocket money. An important point: pocket money is not a payment for good grades, cleaning a room, feeding a dog, but rather a symbol of a child's belonging to a family. The amount may be more or less, but the receipt of pocket money should in no way be associated with the child's success, he should not be deprived of it for any misconduct.
For a child, pocket money is an element of his personal freedom, and the task of parents is to teach him to use this freedom. Therefore, explanations of how best to dispose of pocket money - to spend, save, donate - will never be superfluous. But the final decision is up to the child, otherwise the very idea of gaining experience is devalued. Better to start with small amounts. It is important that the child understands the value of this money, remembers that the parents earn it, spend their time and energy, and that this money is part of the family budget.
Open and honest
Money is a kind of "kind of energy", so you need to take it seriously, with respect, but at the same time calmly and not mystifying it. Having lived for many years in a society where talking about money was considered bad form, we are still afraid of inertia to talk about it frankly, especially with our own children.
Money is a really difficult topic, and it is easy to stumble on it. To prevent this from happening, we will have to look at ourselves from the outside, think about what we are doing wrong and what needs to be adjusted.
When our family “monetary policy” is right, we can openly and honestly discuss financial issues with children and develop a mature attitude towards money in them.