Ever realized how often money and (related) material things creep in your everyday conversations and dealings with your children?
Whether you buy them their justified need of a book/toy/CD or deny them their demand of a latest gizmo or gadget. Whether you make a conscious effort to make your kids/teenagers aware of their responsibility towards money and using it wisely or keep nagging them over their irresponsible financial behavior. Whether you fund all their needs and wants or give them pocket money and teach managing that, you as a parent are consciously or unconsciously shaping your children’s financial attitude.
Your own financial habits and attitudes largely influence theirs. And your reactions, immediate feedback and actions as a response to their financial behavior and attitude plays ‘the’ most important role in shaping their habits and attitude towards money and personal finance throughout their lives. It is thus important to understand and alter these two important aspects – your financial habits and attitudes and your response to your child’s behavior and attitude towards money – in order to instill responsibility and right financial values in them.
Yes, children have many demands these days. But for these millions of children’s demands, parents have only two predominant responses;
1 – Yes
2 – NO
Both these responses make decisions for the child. The ‘no’ is a decision of ‘not buying’ and the ‘yes’ of buying everything the child wants.
In order to make the child accountable and responsible, a different, more open ended response, which will make the child think, is desirable. Encourage the child to decide if what she wants is indeed that important to her. And if it is, help her child figure out how she can afford what she wants from her pocket money.
3 – ASK
Checklist # 1 - Are you largely a YES parent?
Ask why – ‘you want it’ and ask how – ‘can you afford it from your pocket money.
Note that the above checklist is for indicative purposes only. It is not a scientific test.
If you agree with at least 6 of the above statements, you are largely a YES parent.
A little about Largely YES Parents
Largely YES parents meet (or at least try their best to meet) most of their kids’ demands. They believe that whatever they earn is for their kids. They are generally an emotional lot who feel that their kids should not be deprived of the pleasures they were deprived of or never had access to as a child. If they can afford it, they get it for their child.
Very busy professionals, socially active and influenced people, parents with very little ‘quality’ time for their children, those who are emotional/ sentimental, especially when it comes to their kids tend to largely respond a YES to their child’s demands.
Checklist # 2 - Are you largely a NO parent?
* Note that the above checklist is for indicative purposes only. It is not a scientific test.
If you agree with at least 6 of the above statements, you are largely a NO parent.
A little about Largely NO Parents
Largely NO parents say no to most of their kids’ demands. They believe that whatever they earn is for their kids’ future. They save most of their earnings for contingencies and their children’s secure future. They are generally practical who expect their child to be practical too. They believe in being strict with their children.
Professionals with fixed annual increments, family of many dependents, those who believe that giving kids whatever they demand could spoil them, over-protective, slightly paranoid parents tend to largely answer a NO to their child’s demands
As both, Largely YES and Largely NO, have their own advantages and disadvantages, a fine balance between the two is recommended. A more open-ended response ‘ASK why and how’ will help instill right values and habits in children; money wise and otherwise.
Checklist # 3 – Are you a ‘ASK Why and How’ Parent?