As kids head back to school, one thing they won’t learn in the classroom is how money really works and what they have to do to be successful with it. A question that a lot of parents carry in their minds is, how to help teach their children important money lessons that will help them for the rest of their lives.
Sharon gives us 7 tips to teach children the importance of money, how to manage it, and how can parents create a positive narrative around the topic. Sharon Lechter is one of the world’s premier experts for financial literacy and entrepreneurial success. She is the author of Think & Grow Rich for Women,’ coauthor of the classic book ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad,’ and her newest release, ‘ Success & Something Greater,’ features never released material from Napoleon Hill.
Solve a problem or serve a need
At its core, the easiest way to earn money is to solve a problem. All successful businesses, no matter how big or small, solve a problem or serve a need. Help your kids look around the house, the neighborhood and anywhere else they spend time. Where can they lend a hand in exchange for money? It can be anything like mowing lawns, walking dogs, cleaning pools, washing cars and so on. It’s not about the amount of money they make, but the key is to start to get them thinking like an entrepreneur from an early age. Additionally, teach them that they don’t have to be the one delivering the solution. If they create a babysitting network or dog walking crew, their earning power will increase dramatically because they won’t be limited to how much time they can spend themselves. This takes more due diligence and responsibility, but it is a lesson that will serve them for a lifetime.
Teach your kids the importance of mindset
Like most things in life, making money comes down to how you think about it. If you believe you are worthy of riches, you have a better chance of acquiring wealth. Similarly, if you grow up not expecting much out of life or to just be getting by, that’s more than likely going to be the outcome. Inspire your kids to think big and to reach beyond their wildest dreams. Remember, thoughts become things. As a parent or concerned adult, you have the ability to plant seeds of empowerment and self-reliance. Be mindful of your own beliefs around money and what you may be passing down to your children.
Talk to your kids about money language
Many kids these days grow up hearing negative messaging about money. Phrases like “we can’t afford it” and “money doesn’t grow on trees” creates scarcity programming. Teach your kids that money is not a scarce resource and they have just as much opportunity to become financially successful as anyone else. Be mindful of your own language when you have money discussion and encourage your kids to start asking the question, “How can I afford it?” Or, “How can I earn money?” Teach your kids to see money as a positive force and an avenue to create abundance not just in their life, but in the lives of others.
Teach them about money early on
Sadly, learning how money really works isn’t taught in school. Sure, your kids might learn how to write a check or balance a checkbook, but that’s not going to make any child wealthy or successful. Teach your children how money works in the real world, how to grow and invest their money, how to budget their money properly and how to avoid wasteful spending. Keep conversations age appropriate and interesting to keep your child’s attention. Many parents avoid the subject because they themselves don’t feel comfortable or don’t know how to teach about it. Be open with your children about the money lessons you have learned and utilize third-party tools such as the ThirveTime Game if you don’t feel that you have the knowledge you need to help your kids better understand money.
Teach them to learn from failure
There’s no such thing as a successful person who has never failed. In fact, most successful people fail over and over again. Teach your kids that failure is a part of life and is a key ingredient to becoming successful and wealthy. Failure is an event…not a definition. Let your kids know it’s what they do with their failures that count. They need to learn from their mistakes, dust themselves off and get right back on the horse. Share with them your own stories of learning from failure, or find information about other individuals that your kids look up to that will support you in showing them that failure is simply one step closer to success.
Teach your kids that they are capable
Life isn’t always easy, and as parents, we want to protect our kids from disappointment and hurt. But one of the most important ingredients to a child’s self-esteem is their feeling of capability. When they make a mistake, face a challenge or solve a problem, they gain confidence. That’s why it’s important to not do everything for your kids or make all of their decisions for them. The sooner they learn if they want something bad enough, they have to set a goal, create a plan and accomplish their goals, the better. This is one of the best life lessons you can teach your kids in the pursuit of financial success. Helping to develop a sense of age appropriate self-reliance and responsibility now is going to help them down the road.
Celebrate the little wins
One of the biggest obstacles many successful people face is that they don’t know when to stop and acknowledge their accomplishments. We live in a world where we can be constantly comparing ourselves to others and to our own idea of success. Teach your kids that becoming successful requires a lot of hard work, but they also have to learn when to take a break, relax and clear their minds, as well as celebrate how far they have come. Success begets more success, but you have to see it and acknowledge it in order for it to build momentum.