Most parents see it as their role to have the talk with their kids about the birds and the bees. In fact, I have this conversation regularly especially on Saturday mornings after the kids' weekly swimming lessons - why Daniel goes with Daddy into the male bathroom and why Charlotte goes with Mummy into the female bathroom. They also know that boys have penises and girls have vaginas. No sugar coating those terms in my home.
The point I am trying to make here is simply this. Having the sex talk is an integral part of being a parent and this gets spoken about quite regularly amongst parents - the when, the what and the how. What about money? I think this is an important and essential conversation to be had with children also. In fact, we need money period. I am not speaking in terms of materialism and more along the lines of understanding, planning and living.
Charlotte and Daniel are very lucky. They were given lots of red packets (ang pow) by my side of the family since they were born - my parents, my parents' friends, my uncles & aunts, my cousins, etc. You get the point. Their paternal grandfather and step grand mother bought them their first piggy banks. These are a few things we have done so far:
They love to "feed" their respective piggy bank regularly and the "piggies" sings to them too - what a cute incentive! In fact, they go around our home looking for spare change (which is hard to find because we use our credit cards 99% of the time).
Coins in my wallet
I make sure there are coins in my wallet especially on my Special Wednesday morning outings with them to the café and supermarket. Great learning opportunities!
On this day, I give each of them a $2 coin which they put in their backpacks. We head to our local café where I buy my coffee and they each pay for their treat of 2 mini cookies ($1.75), wait earnestly for the cookies to be given to them and keep their hand outstretched for their change before saying "Thank you!" Cute stuff.
I am lucky that I have a choice to include or exclude my children from the weekly grocery shop. Sometimes, these trips can be a real pain in the "bum bum" and still I persist because once again, grocery shopping is an essential part of life and I am NUTS! They love choosing fruits and in the past, they will attempt eating the fruit while we shop. NOW, they understand that nothing can be consumed until it has been paid and more crucially, until we get home. *Phew*
We've finally got our act together as their parents in opening bank accounts for them. The plan is to go into the bank with them every few months with their piggy banks and teach them about the importance of savings.
Have you begun conversations and practices pertaining to money with your children? If you have, I would love to hear from you!