Why should we instill sound money management principles in our kids? This is Sara Croymans, Extension Educator for the University of Minnesota Extension.

Since our kids learn how to manage money mostly by watching how we manage ours, we can make a big difference in preparing them to recognize and defeat the debt-influencing forces which have overpowered many families.

Parents should keep these guidelines in mind as they begin teaching their children about money:

  1. Guide and advise rather than direct and dictate.
  2. Encourage and praise rather than criticize or rebuke.
  3. Allow children to learn by mistakes and by successes.
  4. Be consistent while taking children’s differences into account.
  5. Include all family members in money management discussions, decision making, and activities as appropriate for their age.
  6. Expect all family members to perform unpaid, routine household chores based on their abilities.
  7. Express you desire to have things you can’t afford. Children need to know that parents say “no” to themselves, too.

Your early efforts in teaching young children that money doesn't grow on trees or magically spring from the deepest recesses of your pockets should make money management easier for them later on. To learn more about Children and Money contact the University of Minnesota Extension, web site, http://www.extension.umn.edu/youth&money