I want this…I want that…I want the one that my friend has…..I am bored of it, I want a new one.
I saw it online, I want it…All my class mates have it, I desperately want it…Huh!!! Indeed a difficult bit to handle.
Sure as parents we all have faced such a situation and shall continue to face in future as there is no end to desires and wants. They are just like bottomless abyss. But for sure there is a way out to greater financial understanding, sense of responsibility and freedom. Indeed a significant lifeskill to be taught by both parents and the teachers. All good CBSE schools follow a life-skills embedded curriculum and strengthen students in money skills through more than one creative ways. It might appear difficult but it isn’t, let us know how.
- Inculcate the ability to differentiate between ‘Need vs Want’: So the first step that we should take is to make our children aware of the difference between needs and wants. It is only when they are aware they will be able to discriminate and then gradually prioritize need over want.
- Help them understand that ‘Nothing comes for free’: ‘There is no such thing as a free lunch’, is indeed something to learn early in life. Children won’t understand if you preach and quote the quote. Try telling them through stories, situations and examples.
- Start Early but remember to go SLOW: Remember it takes time to understand and inculcate the learning in day to day behaviour. So remember to be patient, kids won’t be able to understand at once. But if we are consistent and patient they will imbibe the virtues automatically.
- Be a Role Model and help them experience situations: Children learn the best by observing us. Make them part of budgeting, listing based on needs, planning, shopping, comparing prices, decision making leaving few things which are expensive or go beyond budget, making payment, keeping a record etc. Engage and involve them. Let them go through it. Nothing can replace experience.
- Pocket Money and Piggy Bank: They are great tools to bring in a sense of management, planning and ownership. They can help to teach about the concepts of saving, affordability, spending, sharing, gifting, donating etc.
- Make it a part of your conversation also make it fun: Let money not be a prohibited topic at home. Do talk about it in an age appropriate manner. Casual discussions about banking, savings Account, expenditures etc help children get familiar, understand its significance and learn from your best practices.
- Instant vs Delayed gratification: Help your children to learn the art of waiting. Always make sure you don’t get everything on this world for them and not instantly for sure. Never make them feel entitled for everything. You don’t need to say NO but allow them to be mindful of their duties, to wait, to earn it, to deserve it.
As Parents and teachers we have the best of intentions in our mind when we teach our children about good manners, personal hygiene, moral values, achievement, success, good marks, maintaining relationships etc. but rarely do we talk about teaching good money habits. As a result most children grow up into adults who can’t properly manage to save, spend and budget. Financial education for children is a continuous and long process that needs consistency and creativity. All the Top CBSE Schools of Gurgaon work towards inculcating financial hygiene and habits in all their students at young age through creative and experiential ways of teaching, through projects, regular newspapers, case studies etc. Also by emphasizing by integrating the topic in class teaching, assemblies, enrichment activities, summer camps etc. small yet early steps can pave the way to financial responsibility and freedom and help our children become confident, self-regulated and good decision making leaders of tomorrow.