It’s often said that parents are a child’s strongest role model. With that duty comes enormous responsibility – a duty to provide love, stability and encouragement, all the while leading them through the challenges of their lives.
Of course, parents are human beings as well and most are better at leading in some areas than others. Some struggle to talk to their kids about health and their bodies, some avoid conversations about spirituality, others can’t talk about the circle of life (and death). Another common topic that many parents find tricky, is money.
When it comes to teaching kids about money, there are some common characteristics of great leaders that translate really well into how you can lead by example.
Be aware of how money is talked about in your home. Talk about it positively in terms of saving for goals and celebrate achieving milestones along the way.
Making tough decisions is part of the job of a parent. Show your children the value of making the right choices by not making purchases until you can afford to.
Be honest about your financial capacity. Getting yourself into debt to satisfy the ‘wants’ in your life is not setting a good example for your children. Be honest about your own spending habits – we all overspend from time to time, but a good budget will help get you back on track.
Focus on your financial goals and involve the kids, especially when the goal is something fun like a holiday or a new computer.
Reward your kids with the benefits of working and saving hard so they see the value of delayed gratification.
You will be able to have confidence in the financial decisions you make if they are well informed. Some people find the help of a financial planner is invaluable; others use readily available online tools and education to take control of their finances.
Don’t let financial setbacks get you down. If things aren’t going well, review your goals, budget and financial plan and move forward positively!
Most of all, when it comes to teaching kids about money; lead by example and show them how it’s done.
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