While there are many things that children should learn, there are some things that all children need to learn. We have put together the 3 most important things that we believe children need to know about money.
#1 Teach About Marketing
Kids are being marketed to from the day they are born. How many times have we seen commercials directed towards toddlers? We have to teach our kids that the commercials are trying to manipulate them. It’s not the commercials are lying, however they are trying to get them to buy things that they may not need or want. The four most common appeals are:
· Appeal to emotion— “You’ll feel more powerful in these jeans. Be the woman you were born to be.”
· Appeal to popularity— “T-Pain eats this cereal. If you eat this cereal you’ll be more like him!”
· Appeal to frugality— “You can buy two of our product for the cost of one of our competitor’s item.”
#2 Teach About Critical Thinking
It is important that children learn to critically interpret the world around them. Everything from commercials to people they come in contact with are trying to pull the wool over their eyes. Teach your children to think about things before they do anything. Always consider:
· Who is asking something of me?
· What do they want?
· Why do they want it?
· What is the outcome of each action?
As it applied to money, this concept cannot be understated. As the saying goes, “everyone in life is buying or selling”. Helping your child evaluate a free offer from the sausage salesperson in the grocery store to the commercials online will change the way they look at the world.
#3 Teach About Respect
Respect for oneself, one’s family, and one’s community will save them a lot of grief in the long run. Respect for oneself will stop them from wanting to “buy” or “rent” friends. Respect for family will motivate them to want positive things. Respect for one’s community will give them the ability to go out and conquer the world. Having a solid foundation will allow them to go into any situation and be confident, patient, and able to make and manage their funds effectively.