Talk to your kids about money…

  • Let them make choices: I know parenting is hard and messy enough, but having kids make choices in their kid-life is just as important and remarkable as their other achievements. Decision-making is a complex cognitive process and there is no amount of theoretical physics knowledge that can help you improve in that. So let your kids choose what to wear, where to go for a play date, how to celebrate their own birthday or which flavour of ice cream to eat… Normalise for them to be leaders of their decisions and later reflect with them on what those choices brought. How do we expect 18 year olds to choose careers and 25 year olds to choose whom to marry when we don’t even let them choose the colour of their t-shirt when they are 5.
  • Be real about money and let them think about it: It truly is a sensitive issue, especially if there is lack of it in the family. But kids can start having sense of money from a very young age. So why not let them think about the one thing that is going to rule their world in the future. I have heard so many parents be proud that their kids know how big the planets are. This is great but it’s no less important to give them the sense of what is worth what. It’s just one other way to measure things — so when describing a random object at home, instead of simply saying how tall or short it is, why not google the price as well?
  • Let them prioritise the things that matter to them: Having straight A’s in all subjects is a great achievement but there is no way a real life adult can learn everything that is thrown at them. So prioritising is to be learnt at some point and the earlier the better. It’s really related to letting them make decisions, but more specifically letting them prioritise their time with school related stuff. More questions about planets — more time for learning about planets. No real interest in a specific book — let them skim through it and leave it behind. Our resources are limited — we need to have a good sense of what we really need and learn to dig deeper there.

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