Teaching Kids Money Skills In An Online World
by Evans Attwell
Senior Vice President
Frost Private Banking

Tom FlanaganWant your kids to grow up money savvy? They will need financial skills to make that happen, and you are their first and most important teacher.

In a rapidly changing world, teaching your children good money skills and habits has never been more important. Debit and credit card use, internet banking, and online shopping are rapidly becoming the norm. As money becomes more and more invisible, kids can have a harder time making the connection between money and what things cost.

In fact, say financial experts, money is likely to be something of an abstract idea for many children these days—in their minds, a virtually unlimited and somewhat mysterious resource rather than real money coming in and going out of their family’s bank accounts. That’s why experts recommend parents take an active and early role in making money real for their children.

That task may seem difficult, given how seldom children may see actual money used for transactions. But the same lessons you learned—money is required to buy things; some things require more money than others; you get money by working; you budget money to ensure you have enough for what you need; you save money now to purchase something more expensive later; and more—are the same lessons that apply to children today. You just have to add the idea of how cards and computer clicks sometimes take the place of real coins and paper bills.

What else is important to remember about teaching a child about money?
•    Teach skills in an age-appropriate way and recognize that each child may learn differently, even when compared to a child of the same age.
•    Use your child’s natural activities (playing pretend, for example) as learning opportunities.
•    Recognize your family’s regular activities as teaching possibilities. A visit to the ATM, a trip to the supermarket, or a meal out at a restaurant can almost always provide a teachable moment or two.
•    Model what you teach. Your actions speak louder than your words to your child.
•    Empower your child to learn from hands-on experience with an age-appropriate allowance or pocket money, and allow her to acquire the valuable knowledge that comes with making money mistakes along the way.

Would you like more information?
Contact Evans at 713.388.1367 or
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