By Ben Oroko
There are many life skill lessons parents attempt to teach their children while they are young. One such important life skills is teaching them on how to prudently manage their money during their tender and old age .
It is critical for parents to be positive role models to their children in matters pertaining financial management through creation of good savings habits which will pay dividends for the rest of their lives.
They should keep the dialogue about money open since children closely watch their parents and the behaviors of other adults during their early years.
Parents need to teach their children that it takes time and effort to earn money, hence need for prudent spending and saving it. The more open and engaged parents are with their children about life realities in managing money, the better they will be able to prepare themselves psychologically for a financially secure future life.
Many financial experts and scholars argue that, lessons of money management are best learned when one is young, reason why parents should seize the opportunity to teach their children about money, how best to use it and the value of saving. This vital money-lessons will carry them through their lives.
Teaching children about the importance of money and how to handle it is one of the critical life skill lessons children can learn from their parents, since money management begins with the basics, and it is often grandparents and parents who initiate and ensure such crucial process succeeds.
Some parents usually, first introduce their children and grandchildren to the idea of saving with the age-old piggy bank. This is where children are taught to save with a goal, perhaps for a toy that they want to buy.
Encourage children to put away money they get as gifts from relatives, friends and other sources to save the seemingly insignificant coins, impress on them that these coins when added up will get them buying that cherished toy they want.
The culture of teaching children to pay themselves before they pay anyone else is a financial management value and a key to their a bright future.
Encourage them to set aside a specific sum of their money at the beginning of every month so as to achieve their goals in their future life careers.
Every time your child makes money, grasp that opportunity to talk to them about the importance of saving part of it and if they have a plan to buy a toy, facilitate them meet that obligation through saving part of their income for purposes of achieving their dream.
It would be ideal for parents to guide their children to begin with smaller and valuable items that they can easily save up for a short period, instead of the stretched and several months savings plan, to avoid discouraging them from saving for their first big purchase.
This is part of the strategy of teaching them to understand the value of saving and hard work, but getting that first reward is an important part of delivering the message home. Parents can also start to have conversations about prioritizing funds and reminding them that when they choose to spend their weekly allowance rather than save it, it will pull them back in reaching their intended goal of buying their dream toy or something else in their plans.
Having children set their income and goal to work toward, will be ensure they start thinking through where and how they spend their money and finally help them understand the value of their savings in the long run.
One important aspect of getting your children appreciate the value of money is to get them to earn money themselves. This way, children then begin to assign a value to buying things they need against things they want.
Children who have learned the basic disciplines involved in money management are more likely to understand money, manage it efficiently and handle it effectively to achieve their ultimate goals.
Teaching children when they are young about money matters is therefore one of the important legacies any parent can bequeath to them.
The writer is a media and communication practitioner based in Kisii-Kenya.