From The Parenting Doc
Kathy M. Kristof in an excellent article in the Los Angeles
Times recently wrote about the value of parents becoming what I have
termed financial mentors for their children. The article appeared on
the front page of the Business section earlier this August. It began
with Kathy using a real life illustration with a parent friend of
"David Strauss knew he needed to do a better job
teaching his children about money, but the layoff notice he received
in January gave it a sense of urgency. He indicated that it made the
discussion a lot more real."
"Knowing that the downsizing was
coming, Strauss had already started talking to 17-year-old Daniel
and 12-year-old Alexandra about wants versus needs and discussing
how the family expected to cut back. Strauss further indicated that
the kids were much more interested in talking about money
The rest of this excellent article went on to show how
parents of kids in their teens and preteens could go about being
helpful financial mentors to these
Kathy was not,
however, aware that there is much that parents can do to financially
mentor even much younger kids, an issue that I address in my book,
The Positive Parent: Raising Healthy, Happy and
Successful Children, Birth through Adolescence. There I provide
guidelines for Teaching Children to Be Financially Successful and
Giving. I suggest and illustrate the following overall
�Begin early in teaching your children the value of
�Use four piggy banks in which your children can keep
their money - one bank for monies they will spend for themselves,
one for saving, one for investing, and one for the money they will
give to charities, causes, disaster relief, civic, political and
�Teach them about saving and
�Teach them about investments.
about charities and causes they can support and about other ways
they can use their money for humanitarian purposes.
them that contributions can be made to political and advocacy
organizations as a way of promoting a person's values and beliefs
through supporting and electing like minded politicians, citizen
action and lobbying.
�Have your children earn their
�Teach them how to generate other sources of
�Discuss the purchases your children want to make with
their money and help them make wise decisions.
read books on financial literacy to children.
�Give and play
games with your children about financial literacy.
them to financial literacy websites for children.
their attention to your own budgeting, checking, and credit card,
saving, investing and giving activities.
children as your assistants in managing household finances, saving,
investing and giving.
I also orient parents to a variety of
items they can obtain to help in becoming top financial mentors.
Here's a list where you can click on the name and learn about and/or
purchase the helpful items:
To read the entire article by Kathy Kristof,
which has been archived at the LA Times under the title of Giving
Kids the Talk About Money, click here.
Kerby T. Alvy,
Founder and Executive Director
Center for The Improvement of Child Caring
Founder and Advisory Board Member
6260 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Suite
North Hollywood, CA 91606