Teaching responsibility to tweens
Since our schools don’t teach children about money, parents can offer financial guidelines to their tweens. Forbes Magazine (www.forbes.com) has excellent suggestions.
- Teach comparison shopping. Shop with kids, and point out sale items and comparing prices.
- Give tween increased responsibility by having them pay for own extras.
- Teach tweens to allocate money for saving, spending, and giving. They can donate some of their “giving” money to a good cause.
- Introduce the bank account. Some credit unions give a bonus, and explain how they can earn interest at bank. They can possibly put aside part of allowance to deposit.
- Explain risks of online shopping and identity theft. Rules for online purchases include who they must ask, and why a parent must be there.
- Teach basics of credit cards, and explain difference between credit and debit cards and how to use responsibility. Tweens should understand it is like a loan.
- Give adolescent more responsibility.
Dave Ramsey (www.daveramsey.com) wrote about How to Teach Teenagers About Money, but much of it applies to tweens as well. Mr. Ramsey feels it is up to the parents to teach them what they need to know so that they can survive on their own. Show kids how to make a budget, and help them plan.
Teach tweens about long-term savings goals, such as a car. Mr. Ramsey says no credit cards. This “feeling of responsibility spills over into other areas of life…That ysense of accountability will permeate their lives and help them behave…Love your kids enough to properly teach them about being adults.”
Michael Josephson, the Los Angeles based guru of values and ethics, adds another dimension to this topic, called Enough is Enough (www.charactercounts) . In addition to teaching tweens about responsibility and finances, Josephson says we must teach tweens to appreciate. “If you want to be happy, count your blessings, not your burdens.” Making comparisons to someone else will destroy that. Tweens need to know the difference between their needs and their wants, and how much is enough. If that philosophy influences their choices, your job is done.