Are parents terrible personal finance role models? – Christian Science Monitor

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Christian Science Monitor
Are parents terrible personal finance role models?

Moneyseeker‘s insight:

It seems that not only do couples not talk about money, but parents don’t have honest conversations with their children either.  No wonder there are so many gen Y living from payday to payday.


But having said that, I was born at the tail end of the baby boomers, and my parents never discussed their financial situation with me. They did advise (in other words tell) me what to do with my money when I got my first after school job, and they set some strict guidelines in terms of paying board when I started working full time.  But apart from that money was very much a taboo subject in our house.


As a child I don’t think I really felt the need to know about my parents money, as long as my needs (and wants) were met, life was all good.


Our early beliefs about money do come from our parents and our environment, and unless we challenge those beliefs in later life then they  are the beliefs that form our own relationship with money.


So, if the parents aren’t good role models then who are children going to learn from?  It does beg the question, should personal financial management be taught in schools from a young age?


I will leave you to ponder that one.

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One thought on “Are parents terrible personal finance role models? – Christian Science Monitor

  1. When my daughters were very young they had no concept of money. I remember them asking me to buy something and me asking them where the money was going to come from. They told me to get it from the hole in the wall (ATM) like we usually did when we wanted money. They were probably aged around 4 and 6 at that time and quite surprised that I needed to ask them the question.

    I don’t know about now, but kids were certainly taught about money at an early age, with classrooms having make believe shops. The question is of course an understanding that there is a trade off between providing a service and being paid for it. Then of course there are the lessons about intrinsic value and understanding the difference between gifts of money and earning it. Both of which are important to understand.

    I learned at an early age that I was gong to have to work if I wanted money. There wasn’t a lot to go around. I had a paper run at 10 or 11 and had to collect payment from subscribers each month. The best part was getting tipped! The worst was people who weren’t home or didn’t pay on time. Interesting lessons at that age.

    Schools have to be loco parentis when parents don’t have good money skills themselves, but I think it is more important for them to teach their kids the relationship between actions and reward. Particularly that actions and chores don’t necessarily mean you get paid. It’s a big one.


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