If you’re not talking to your kids about money, you’re likely making a big mistake. Not only do kids learn things through your silence, you’re missing a golden opportunity to provide them a valuable financial education. Let’s go through some common reasons for not discussing money with kids, and then properly pick them apart.
You Think Your Kids Are Too Young to Understand
Perhaps you think your kids are too young to understand money and have decided to wait things out. This is a bad idea. Kids learn about money whether you’re talking to them about it or not. In fact, a study from North Carolina State University found that kids as young as eight are already forming thoughts about family finances and more. You might think you’re keeping the “adult” world away from kids by not discussing money, but all you’re doing is allowing them to create their own — often misinformed — thoughts on the subject. Start talking to your kids about money before they start asking you.
You’re Worried You’ll Say The Wrong Thing
Money is a sensitive subject, so it’s natural for some anxiety to pop up when discussing it with your kids. However, don’t get bogged down by a worry that you’ll say the wrong thing. As The New York Times reports, an easy way to deal with this stress is to talk to your kids in stages. When they’re five, you can discuss saving versus spending and how you work for the money that buys them toys. You don’t have to discuss compound interest to your kindergartener.
You Don’t Know When to Discuss It
One way to make money discussions easier is to make them as natural as possible. When you go grocery shopping and your kid asks for three boxes of cereal instead of one, it’s time to discuss wants vs needs and how money isn’t unlimited. Discuss saving for long-term goals when your kid asks about getting new Legos. The point is there are plenty of life moments to discuss money, so keep that in mind and broach the subject when it comes up.