One of the hardest challenges that we face in our life is raising children. Not only to feed and clothe them, but raising them to be good adults in the future by cultivating well-rounded values, and nurturing their abilities and talents.
Aside from ensuring your child’s safety, health and correct development, there are so many things to prioritize and inculcate as they grow up, and the challenges include outside factors that sometimes are too overwhelming. When you’re trying to raise a child to live a simple life and instill the value of saving, it’s not very helpful that today’s world is so focused on materialism, owning things, and pouring negative values to children’s impressionable minds.
Children can be very easily swayed, given that everywhere there’s a huge billboards, ads, posters, for toys, clothing, food, and other products. Media has barraged our children’s senses with advertising and promotions, designed to heighten materialism without our children understanding that that in itself is a bad thing. Here are several helpful tips to remember as you guide your child to the right path of money-smarts:
The most important is that you serve as a role model for your child. There’s nothing that will get a clearer message across than your own example. For example, talking to them about your savings goal, a clear explanation of the family finances, and the things you do to put more money into savings. Let them know their responsibility, without having to resort to nagging or scolding and instead use a firm but gentle tone when lecturing about money and spending.
Teach your children the practical aspects of money, where it comes from and why it is essential. Children need to realize than money doesn’t grow on trees or fall from the sky and the like, but that money is earned by working hard for it. This will help them realize that money is no little thing, but is an important tool to use for necessities like food, clothes and shelter, and as well as to get things that make life easier.
Pass down the significant values, especially to “be satisfied with what you have”. With this in mind, children will lessen their need to want more items that they see. Remind them that “the best things in life are free” and that having fun doesn’t mean to shopping or spending a cent. Teach your children to look beyond the superficial. Tell them that advertising is pretty to look at, but it is truly deceiving. Also, teach them the value that “its the thought that counts” when receiving gifts, to make them realize it’s not about the object inside the box but the thoughtfulness of the person giving it to you.
Help your child get started with saving, too! If your child is old enough to have his or her weekly allowance, start introducing savings option that lets them grow their money in a piggy bank, handing them over to you, or start up a junior savings account for them. Let them know how they can start saving no matter what the amount may be and how to grow their it! Money can be spent easily on unnecessary things, but saving them to get the things that is essential, or at least important for them (like finally getting a favorite toy or game), is more fulfilling.
Above all, provide your children your support, consistent attention, and love. Children learn more in an environment that is geared toward learning and good discipline. A strong relationship between their parents will help develop a sense of security and trust that children need during their childhood and teenage years.
Dave Stack is a huge fan of saving money and using coupons, coupon codes and promotional codes. He operates http://www.couponsaver.org which has been saving people money since 2007