No, not the birds and the bees talk...... but also very important. I'm referring to "The Talk" about financial responsibility. How can you instill in your children a reasonable respect for money and material things while encouraging a joy of giving? Here's a five tips that are especially good for this time of year:
1. Set a good example! When you are trying to teach your children a life skill, always the best advice is to set a good example. Children learn from you 24/7 and more from watching you than listening to you. Especially at a holiday season, let them see your joy of giving. Show them that you consider it important to give to others, make donations, and volunteer your time.
2. Encourage your child's natural joy of giving. All children love praise and recognition. When you see your child giving of their toys, time, or love, praise them for it. Let them know that you notice and appreciate their generosity.
3. Read books about giving. Have you ever told your child something only to be ignored? And then they read the same thing in a book and pay attention? Sometimes it helps to get outside corroboration. Here are some suggestions!
For Ages 4-8:
The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving
For Young Adult:
Catch the Spirit
Complete Idiot's Guide to Volunteering for Teens
4. Teach Asset Allocation (Spending, Saving, Donating, Investing). The holidays are a perfect time to teach your child about how to handle a gift of money. Talk to them about the choices of spending, saving, donating, and investing and how each one is important. Set percentages and encourage them to stick to their "income budget" when they receive a cash holiday gift.
5. Set a Holiday Budget. Sit down with your children and set a budget for their holiday giving to friends and family. Agree on a total and then (if age appropriate) let them set the amount for each person and adjust as they start making purchases.
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