Talking about money with young children is not always easy, as they have no real concept of it. Financial education forms the foundation for cultivating children's autonomy in any pursuit.
Here are five tips to keep in mind when talking to your child about money:
- Be a role model for your children – set the example
If you want your children to learn the importance of saving, let them see you saving. Explain why it is important to save and what these savings will enable you to do later.
- Engage in conversations with your children about your money decisions
If you avoid buying certain products (for example, choosing non-branded goods versus branded ones), explain why to your child. If you buy your food/products in bulk, explain why your choice makes more economic sense.
- Teach your child the relationship between work and money
Financial education is not just about saving. Developing their entrepreneurial spirit is an effective way to teach them about the relationship between work and money. It is not just a matter of enabling them to earn some money. It is about teaching important skills such as creativity, originality, perseverance and reflection, i.e. the skills needed to run a business (and for life in general!).
- Empower them to manage some money
Children do not always understand when you tell them you "don't have the money" to buy them something. They do not necessarily understand that once the money is spent, it is gone for good. Letting your child manage a certain amount of money is a good way of teaching them that money is given in exchange for something. Giving them a little also teaches them the importance of making choices in order to get what they really want.
- Teach your children the importance of having goals
We do not always get what we want, when we want it. This is life. It is important for your children to understand that even if they cannot have what they want when they want it (for example, a new video game), saving towards that goal can help them achieve it.
Above all, it is important to teach your children that happiness lies in the simple things and small pleasures of life: spending time with their friends, developing rituals to strengthen family bonds, discovering things together... Teach them to distinguish between needs and desires and remember that beautiful moments shared are worth all the gifts in the world.