Teaching Money Concepts - A Newsletter for Parents of First Grade Children
What Do You Think?
It's Saturday morning and Chad is watching his favorite TV show. Suddenly it's interrupted by a commercial for a bright red remote control car. Chad turns to his dad and says, "I want that." Dad replies, "It costs too much." Chad continues, "But Daddy, you have money." (See end of newsletter for a possible answer.)
It's not easy to develop "money sense" in children. But the best teacher is a parent who sets a good example. There isn't one set of rules or one way to teach money management. Every family and situation is different. However, there are some general guidelines to help you with this important job.
When should you start being a "centsible" parent? Most children can handle money much sooner than parents realize. In fact, research indicates that children already have knowledge, attitudes, and ideas about money (and how they are going to use it) before they ever start school. Children can be taught about money and learn from being praised when they use money wisely. Children also pick up a lot by watching how their parents handle money.
Teaching Money Concepts
Young children can learn some important basic concepts if they are shown by example. Be aware that your words, actions, facial expressions, and tone of voice tell your child how you feel about money. Here are some fun activities you might try with your child:
- Play counting games with coins. This is how a child learns how many pennies it takes to make a dime.
- Pick out pictures of needs and wants in magazines and catalogs to help your child see he or she can't have everything.
- Give your child a certain amount of money and help the child shop for a school backpack. This can teach about money limits and making choices.
- Make a birthday card for a grandparent to teach how sometimes you can make something cheaper than buying it at the store.
- Play restaurant or grocery store to teach the concept of using money to buy things.
Reprinted with the permission of the Iowa State University Extension. © 2008 Iowa State University Extension.
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