For some reason, many parents feel uncomfortable teaching their kids about sex, money and work. (We’ll reserve the “sex talk” topic for another time.)
Successful parenting doesn’t just provide food, clothing, and shelter for kids. Parents are also responsible for teaching their kids about how to live their own lives successfully in the real world.
And, life in the real world includes working for money and handling that money well.
One of today’s premier educators and coaches about money and financial issues is Dave Ramsey. I HIGHLY recommend him to anyone who has struggles with personal or family finances.
- He founded Ramsey Solutions to counsel people who struggle with financial stress.
- His first book was titled, “Financial Peace.”
- He started a radio call-in show called “The Money Game” which morphed into the nationally syndicated “Dave Ramsey Show.”
- He’s had six best-sellers on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly lists.
- Ramsey Solutions now has more than 400 team members and a variety of products and services to help people reach their financial goals.
- Ramsey Solutions provides biblically based, common-sense education and empowerment that give HOPE to everyone in every walk of life.
When someone with Dave’s background, experience and resources talks about kids, money and work, smart people listen.
Here are some of Dave’s suggestions:
When asked, “When should I start teaching my kids about money?” Dave answered:
“Teach kids about money as young as pre-school age and no later than third grade. Just think about it: if your kids can grasp this money stuff early on, they’ll avoid many of the pitfalls later. After all, it’s better for little Billy to make a $10 mistake than a $10,000 mistake!”
Regarding “allowances,” Ramsey’s advice is:
“Do not give them an allowance. After all, what are you making an allowance for? You don’t want to have the kind of kids who think money grows on trees, do you? Don’t set them up for frustration and unrealistic expectations. And don’t miss out on the teachable moments that come when you give them a commission instead of an allowance.”
Regarding young children, work and money, Dave says:
“Start paying them a commission for chores they do around the house. Typically, one dollar per completed chore is sufficient with a list of five or six chores each week. Remember that each child is going to respond differently. Just keep evaluating your child’s maturity level and make sure their chores are age-appropriate.”
What does Dave suggest for older kids?
“Send them off to work. Child abuse is letting a kid sit in front of a TV all day playing video games and eating junk food. Kids need to understand what a little dirt under the fingernails means. Delivering newspapers, mowing lawns, or working at a concession stand are some appropriate jobs they can handle.”
Why spend much time and effort on teaching your kids about money and work? Because:
- Each of us, to some extent, has lived with the pain and hardship of our own mishandling of money.
- A productive future life includes the need for knowing how to:
- Spend wisely
- Learning these things from a young age will lay a strong foundation for their future.
- Someone else will teach our kids how to handle money if we don’t.
Guiding your kids in the choices they make with money and work is HUGE!
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