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How are  our kids/children learning about money?  What do they feel about money? Let’s checkout money talk of  kids of different ages . Lets see Kids and Money Conversations. If a ten year old likes to hang out at malls, spend today, how would be her spending habits when she grows up? Kids who really like spending money when they 10 will probably grow up to be adults who really like spending money. If you have not allowed your child to handle or talk about money then when he grows up How can he suddenly take care of himself and his money?”

want now

I want it now!

Money, Money, Money. Money is easily one of the most powerful, dominant and motivating forces on our planet today. We deal with money every day. Bt how do we learn about money? We are not born with a money sense.! We learn about money through our daily experiences with parents, school, friends, television etc. We learn by what we see, hear and experience, especially kids.As a parent, we are teaching our children every day, not just by what we say, but by what we do , we say.  We do not realize what kids are seeing, how are they interpreting?

“I want a chocolate Now” , cried  5 year old Twisha. “ I have no money”, her mother told, “Money doesn’t grow on trees“.  “Then go to the bank and get the money ,“ Twisha told her mother. “It’s so simple you go to the ATM machine, put the card, tell how much money you want and you get it”.

Alina is 4 years old. Her best friend had got a big talking doll as a gift from her aunt visiting them from USA. Alina wants the same doll though she has 8 Barbie dolls. Her parents promise to buy the doll but she whines, “ I never get what I want. It’s not fair“.
whining kid

whining kid

Overheard at a toy shop, “But I really need this bay blade”,screamed the kid, “No you have enough bay-blades at home”, replied the father. “But all my friends have it “, replied the kid. “We bought one last week only. I don’t feel you need it.” said the father. “Even Tav bought one last week and his parents bought him this one. He has 10 more bay blades than me”, remarked the kid. “Money doesn’t grow on trees”, replied his father and walked off with the child crying after him “If Tav can have why can’t me. You never buy me anything.”

When Ann celebrated her 5th birthday instead of the usual sweets she distributed fancy Barbie pencil boxes for girls and Ben 10 boxes for boys in her class. Her birthday gifts included a Casio keyboard, a talking doll, an inflatable pool etc.

A friend’s daughter about 8 years in age, while watching a T.V program about recession on a news channel, offered to give up her pocket-money. Her mother was shocked and replied, “No we don’t need your pocket- money. We have enough.” Pat came the request, ” Then buy me an iPod”.

father's credit cards; Kids and Money

My father has many credit cards

Tanya and Shelly, 12 years old, were talking. “My father has 4 credit cards”, said Tanya. Shelly replied, “And my father has six credit cards. We use credit cards everywhere. My new Wii is also bought by credit card.” Tanya remarked, “The credit card seems to be magical thing“. Shelly said, ” I agree, but when the credit card bill comes, my father and my mother have a fight on amount of bill.”

It was when son called home for more money for the fourth time in two months that his father lost temper. Son was studying for a post graduation degree and father had put sufficient amount in the bank account for son’s daily expenses. Father remarked to his wife, ” You son is squandering my money. At his age I was maintaining a household with wife, parents and two kids”. Then the mother asked,”We never allowed our son to handle money. How can he suddenly take care of himself and his money?”

Al graduated from college and got a job. When he received the first salary, he felt he is king of the world as he has his own money and doesn’t need to ask his parents. He bought branded clothes for himself and gifts for every one in family. He informs his parents of his plans to buy a motor-cycle. His father asked, “You have just started a job, your company provides you a bus service why do you need a motor-bike? And where will you get the money from? You have spent all your salary of this month.” Al replied, “No father, I bought these clothes on credit card. With my salary account bank also offered me a credit card. And to buy car I will take a Loan.” The father questioned, “But you need to pay your credit card bill and loan”. Son answered,” I will pay minimum amount on my credit card and pay EMI.” Father asked, “Do you know what you are getting into?” Al said,”Everyone is doing the same. You don’t worry!”

Are kids to be blamed for their financial behavior?

I am reminded of the Aesop’s fable “Spare the rod and spoil the child” when a thief on being hanged asked his mother also to be hanged.   He sais “When I was small I did mischief, without punishing me she encouraged me to do it again and again“. Dealing with the Terrible Twos is a piece of cake compared to dealing with your daughter telling you she has maxed out on her credit card(Remember Sonam kapoor in Aisha) or your son asking you to co-sign a loan for a motorcycle.  Parents need to talk to kids about money matters!.

Let us not forget that The rules of money don’t change from age 6 months to 60 years. The relative heaviness or lightness of the journey through life depends on how clearly monetary goals are articulated. Do you agree? How have you learnt about money? What money habits have you learnt and what are you passing to your kids?

Note: bemoneyaware.com has e-book on basics of money : banks, credit card, rich people of world, Myth.

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