Should we talk about Money to kids? Should kids Learn about Money? Money shouldn’t be a taboo subject, and kids don’t need to be sheltered from financial matters. There are two ways of looking at learning or talking to kids about money:
- Many people feel that we should not speak to children about money, as they feel they were not taught about the same by their parents. They learnt it as they were growing up.
- There is another group of people that feels that children should be spoken and taught about money. “Rather than give a hungry man a fish, it is far better to teach him to fish for himself, then he will have food of his own for a lifetime“
You should learn to handle money in the same way you view learning to bathe and brush teeth—as a necessary skill for life.
What is the value of money?
The best person to answer the question is the person who has earned it. Often, we hear parents complaining that today’s children do not know the value of money. It is so easy to spend the money but so difficult to earn it. Lets read story of how Shyam realized the value of money.
There once lived a merchant, who had a handsome but lazy son Shyam. Shyam used to spend his father’s hard earned money without thinking. To make him realize the value of money, his father asked him to earn Rs 5 and bring it to him. The boy said “Cool dad. How much do you want?” Get one 5 Rs coin, said the father. The boy had no plans of working. He went to his mother. His mother was giving instructions to the maid regarding food. He asked his mother for a Rs 5 coin. His mother gave it to him happily. He took that coin to his father and said: “Papa, I have got this coin.” Father took the coin and threw it in the well and he asked him to get another coin the next day.
This process is repeated as he asked his grandmother, sister, brother. Every day his father used to take the coin and throw it in the well. After realizing that Shyam is getting coins from his family members, his father forbade the family members to give any coin to Shyam. When no one gave a coin to Shyam, he did not know what to do. So, he went to the railway station and started picking up the luggage. It was difficult, but he wanted to go to his father with the coin. At the end of the day, he took his coin to his father. When his father was about to throw the coin in the well, he got angry, “Papa, I have struggled all day, worked so hard to get this coin and you want to throw it in the well. I shall not allow it.” Then his father smiled and said, “Now, you realize the value of hard-earned money. So many days I threw the coin but you didn’t say a word. Today you are cribbing because you had earned it. I also have to work hard every day to earn for you and the family. Just imagine, what I feel when you spend my hard earned money without thinking.” That day the child realized his mistake.
What Kids should Learn about Money
Money Is Earned: Kids know you get money from your wallet and the ATM machine, but they may not understand that money has to first be earned. You need to explain that most adults get a job so they can earn money. Different skills are needed for each job, and people often choose a job (short-term employment) or a career (long-term employment) based on their interests and skills.
Want Vs. Need: Kids need to understand that what we need always comes before what we want.
Shop for Value: When the child is old enough to grasp basic math, take them with you to the grocery store and involve them in the process of shopping. Show them items at different prices and ask them which one make sense to buy
You Can’t Have It All Everyone deserves to enjoy, but there is no denying the fact that buying everything we want would result in financial disaster.