Parenting has always been a topic of debate for a long time, what kind of teaching is good, what is bad? And so on…
I choose to write on parenting today is for you to have a thought on how things are changing around us and how to be able enough to cope with it when it is about our little ones.
One thing I can clearly remember from my childhood which I feel a majority of you will be able to relate to is “Piggy Bank”. That little toy our parents introduced it to us, to understand the concept and joy of saving. I learned it that way because my parents probably would have thought that this is the easy way to teach the importance of saving or on a second thought, the experiences of their life taught them to teach their kids how imperative it is to know the importance of saving. Eventually, I used to look forward to saving a small amount which I used to get from mom, dad, grandparents, relatives so that I can buy gifts for my friends on their birthday like they used to give me on mine. I used to see my friends also have their little piggy banks and their parents also teaching them the same things what my parents wanted me to learn.
That was then, it’s always said “Sharing what we know is the way to grow in life” but did you all observe that majority of us are not developing the same habits or teaching our kids what we had learned? Why many of the kids are nowadays not knowing the importance of money? Why do they not know how to save?
Is it because we were taught in a wrong way? Or Is it because we think that in parenting this is not important? Or Are we too busy to look at those little things?
I as a financial planner would say “NO” these are not the reasons. The changing nature of using the money, the way we spend our money, the rate of inflation, the pressure of work, and moreover everything, our lifestyle have changed so it is obvious that the way to teach our kids also got to change. Previously a packet of Milk used to cost Rs.15 now it is gone up to Rs.42. Inflation is a concept that is going to take place whether we like it or not. So in such changing and growing environment making our kids realize the importance of when to spend and save is as important as we talk to them about basics like what is bad or what is good to do in life! Parenting plays an important role in making their kids realize the importance of money.
Let me guide you to know three Important learnings or habits you can start inculcating in your kids:
- Get their toy back: Yes the piggy bank is what I am talking about. Some old methods are still the best way to teach kids the method of saving. Giving them pocket money and asking them to save few bucks out of it is a good way to start and at the end whatever is saved you will add the exact amount and that will help them to buy what they wish for. Give them opportunity and let them take their own decisions because that will make them think.
- Introduce bank to them: It’s very essential that kids know how plastic money works in today’s transacting world. They see their parents doing transactions from phone, card swiping and no cash involvement. So to avoid any kind of ignorance, as parents it’s our responsibility to instill the importance of spending limits for our kids. Open a minor bank account for them. ICICI Bank, State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, Kotak bank, Union Bank of India have provisions to open a bank account for kids below 10 to 18 years and some also have provisions for bank account below 10 years. It’s a considerable way to educate them about the significance of a PIN, username, passwords etc. Make sure to take your kid to the ATM to show how to withdraw money safely.
- Keep goals for them to achieve: It’s not easy nowadays for kids to take NO as an answer for their wishes to want or do something. In such cases channelizing their energies and thoughts towards right direction becomes essential. Ask them to maintain a checklist of what they spend on or if they demand something expensive don’t tell them NO directly, instead tell them” let’s save for it together and we can then buy it after X amount of days.” This way they learn to understand how important it is to have a goal and how to work towards it.
Begin these little changes with your little ones and let me know if you are being a good financial planner for them or what are their out of the box questions. I would look forward to knowing them.