Teaching Money Concepts - A Newsletter for Parents of Third Grade Children
What Do You Think?
Jennifer and her mom are shopping for a birthday present for a friend. They pay for the gift and Jennifer sees a hair barrette she really likes and says to her mom, "This barrette is so cool, would you buy it for me?" Her mom pays, "We just don't have any extra money right now." Jennifer whines, "But Mom, just write a check for it."
Parents may wonder when to start teaching children about money. Children are not born with money sense and need help and guidance to get them started in the right direction.
Teaching money management has never been more important. Many teenagers are handling lots of money without having the slightest idea of how to do it. If children learn the basics as they grow up, they will be better prepared.
While younger children learn by watching how others handle money, third grade children will learn by doing things with money themselves. Your child can learn about how money is earned, used, and saved. The child can make some decisions and figure out money is limited. It's important that you try to teach your child at his or her level. You cannot expect a child to see money in the same way an adult does. Use examples and activities that match the child's age and development.
Teaching Money Concepts
Your child can deal with small amounts of money and make simple decisions and plans. Provide lots of chances for your child to do this. Remember, he or she will learn by doing.
Here are some fun activities you might try with your child:
- Allow your child to help make decisions at the store. Talk together about deciding between two items—for example, buying either generic brand or name brand cereal.
- Give your child a regular allowance. This will help teach limits and how to follow a plan for spending.
- Think of ways your child can earn some money and keep this separate from any allowance. The child needs to learn where money comes from and that it "doesn't grow on trees."
- Open a savings account so the child can learn to save for something special.
- Talk about advertisements and their messages. Help the child learn ads aren't always real or what they appear to be.
Reprinted with the permission of the Iowa State University Extension. © 2008 Iowa State University Extension.
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