Page 31 - magazine-jan-feb14

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(Credit: Dr. Rebecca Steingiesser)
According to Dr. Steingiesser,
a nationwide survey of high
school students in the United
States demonstrated that
approximately 60 percent of
the students surveyed indicated
that they had learned about
managing their money ‘at
home from my family.’ “This
statistic clearly demonstrates
the important role parent’s
play in developing their child’s
awareness, understanding
and appreciation of the use
and handling of money,” she
says. “Sharing is an important
value to teach children and
parents can develop their
child’s sense of social ethics by
engaging in charity or giving
with them from a very early
age.” Also parents can help
their child to develop a sense
of social responsibility by
setting an example themselves
and modelling charity. “For
example, some families may
wish to donate money to
their religious organisations,
put aside a certain amount
of money every year to
give charity or sponsor a
child from a disadvantaged
background,” she says as well as
volunteering in the community
and working to raise funds
for the disadvantaged can be
a rewarding experience for
children. Parents can also
encourage their children to
donate old clothes, toys, time
or even a percentage of their
allowance to feel the individual
impact of their contribution to
the lives of others.
Tips for parents:
Parents should be
encouraged to communicate
with their children as they
grow about their values
concerning money.
• Parents can begin by helping
children learn the differences
between needs, wants, and
wishes. This will prepare
them for making good
spending decisions in the
• Setting goals is essential to
learning the value of money
and saving. Every toy or
other item a child asks their
parents for can be used as
an object for a goal-setting
exercise. Goal setting is
an important first step for
children to begin thinking of
strategies of how to go about
purchasing the item.
• It is important for parents
to establish a regular time
for family discussions about
finances. This is especially
helpful to younger children
as it provides them an
opportunity to tally up their
savings and work out how
much more they need to save
to reach their target goal.
• Allow young people to make
spending decisions, whether
these be good or not. This
will allow them to learn
from their spending choices.
Parents can then initiate an
open discussion of spending
pros and cons before more
spending takes place.
The Don’ts of
financial education:
It is recommended that
parents avoid ‘bailing’ their
children out if they deplete
their savings. Parents should
establish that allowances
are only given out once a
month. It is important for
teenagers to experience
the consequences of poor
budgeting, as this will
help them understand the
value of considerate money
• Parents should avoid giving
their children cash. Cash can
easily be lost or misplaced
and is generally hard to
account for. This may serve
to encourage poor spending
habits without proper
accounting and responsibility.
• It is recommended that
parents address issues as
they arise. Waiting to discuss
questionable spending
decisions can lessen the
impact of the money
management lessons parents
are trying to instil in their
• Parents who establish
guidelines are able to avoid
arguments about who is
supposed to pay for what as
clear definitions are made
early on with regards to
what they expect their child’s
allowance to cover.
Jan/Feb 2014