I know that title is a bit deceiving, but after reading Make Your Kid a Money Genius (Even If You’re Not) by Beth Kobliner I learned more about the things I was saying wrong than right! I don’t want you to focus on what you’re saying and doing wrong but more about ways to learn how to do it right.
Beth Kobliner gives very insightful “teachable moments” for parents on how to really give your kids the knowledge they will need going into their little lives starting at three years old. I know, THREE! According to research, kids capture the value and exchange starting at age three. The book gives them insight on delaying gratification for instant purchases. Blessing for those of us with genetics for impulse buying.
I was shocked when the author gave what not to talk about with your kids. Your salary was number one. Don’t tell them the actual number you make. Let them know the median household income where you live and give them a general knowledge on where your family is in relation to that number. If you give them an inflated amount they will expect that in adulthood. But if you give them a generalization around the median income then they have a good starting point for many points in the book.
I also found myself in a bad position when she said to avoid saying which spouse makes more. By doing that at an early age it teaches children that one parent’s contribution is more important that the other. For me, I recently told my eight-year-old about why I was marching in the Women’s March on Washington. I explained to him that women have a harder time making what they deserve. Part of the reason for the march was making noise about equal pay. Now, that wasn’t a bad thing to do since it makes sense with the story but I definitely learned to curtail that bit of info in the future.
Don’t talk about which family member is poor and which is rich. I honestly don’t know the answer to that statement but I do know that I have heard growing up that someone is cheap, rich, or broke. I remember hearing weird statements like “Uncle Johnny could use a bushel basket full of hundred dollar bills” and wondered why that was the case. My dad would always tell me they were poorer than dirt. I guess that did affect me as an adult.
Another point the author makes is to not talk about how much you pay the sitter/nanny/tutor. Again, another failure in my house. I always talk about how crazy expensive pre-school is for my three-year-old. But it is! Teaching your kids what their caregivers make gives kids an opportunity to think they’re the boss when the parents aren’t around. Personally, I never thought about that.
One thing that I found to be true is telling your kids how much you spend on a gift. The joys of gifting and receiving gets stripped if you mention the price each time you give a present. This is especially tough in my house because we get so many review products. I always grab them for birthday gifts when in a hurry and sometimes the value of the gift is way more than what you give as a present for a birthday party. That makes it tough on parents although most of the parents my kids party with know what I do for a living so they love my gift giving. But my kids need to understand that you don’t have to ‘over do it’ or feel bad if you don’t have the money to give what you should. I actually got to deal with this over the holidays this year in my house. My eight-year-old mentioned Christmas morning that my three-year-old got more than he did. I was able to stop the festivities and really break it down for him to understand. I told him that what he asked Santa for cost a lot more than his brother. He had opened up a PS4 so I went online and showed him how much that cost. I then asked him which present he thought was the most expensive that his brother got and showed him it was hundreds less than his best gift. The lightbulb that went on in that kids head was classic!
Basically, grab the book for all the best tips on positive parenting with money. But also realize that talking about anything negative with money will always affect kids in a negative way. Being honest without being too much information is smart too. Take the time to break down the truths but don’t have money arguments in front of your kids. Plus, making sure they don’t know actual digits but that both parents contribute importantly to their well-being and future.
Grab the book on Barnes & Noble and get your kids in the money game!
This is a sponsored post with SheSpeaks/Beth Kobliner. All opinions are our own.