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Teaching Kids Everyday Money Skills

lead by example-teaching kids money

Lead By Example: The Collection

I have seen many scenarios of “lead by example” when it comes to money and kids. Here are a few…

Lead by example number 1: My 8-year-old son had a friend over for a playdate. The two boys were playing with a kite outside when a gust of wind ripped the string right out of their hands and carried it up, up and away. The boys came in with sad faces and my son’s friend said “Well, we have to go buy another one now”. I was a bit surprised at his instinct. When I asked him if there might be another solution, he replied “I don’t think so. When we lose something, my mom goes out and buys us a new one”. We proceeded to “make” a new kite and they happily continued their playdate outside.

Lead by example number 2: I recently had the opportunity to witness a lovely exchange with a mother and daughter in a grocery checkout line. The little girl (maybe 5 years old) was begging for a chocolate bar at the counter. The mom knelt down and quietly said “You can buy a chocolate bar now but then you won’t get a treat from the ice cream cart at the park on Saturday OR you can pass on the chocolate bar now and get a treat from the cart on Saturday. You have to choose. But whatever you pick, you stick with. I have to make choices like this too.” The little girl decided to pass on the chocolate bar, excited for her treat on the weekend. I marvelled at the lesson that mom taught her daughter about delayed gratification.

Lead by example number 3: This one is something I do… When it comes to money, I believe that sharing and encouraging your kids to be charitable makes them better money managers as well as better citizens. I give to people on the street when they ask as often as I can, especially when my kids are with me. Happy to report, my sons have adopted this practice. They dig into their own pockets now and get enjoyment and fulfillment from giving money to those in need. I am so proud that they have adapted this healthy money habit on their own and I’m sure they will continue it well into their adulthood and pass it on to their kids.

The common theme of these stories is that kids learn from example, so lead by example!