Monmouth's Ask the Doctor January-February 2020

Talking About Money Choices, Big and Small As you talk to your kids about money, when you talk to them is less important than how you talk to them. When you take into consideration where your children are in their financial development, you can talk to them about important events and build skills they’ll use later in life. Some topics may be sensitive for your family. Keep in mind that children absorb much more than the words you say— they’re aware of your moods and attitudes too. Start a conversation when you sense it can be productive and comfortable. Not sure how to talk money with your kids? You might have reasons that you haven’t yet started to talk about money with your children. It might feel awkward, boring, preachy, or difficult. You might not know where to start, or when it’s the right time. But you probably know it’s important to start. Keep in mind that you’re teaching about money, on purpose or not. Your children are constantly watching and listening, so they might absorb more than you think. When you shop for a bargain, or splurge on a treat, or plan a special occasion, you’re showing your kids how you think about money. Play to your strengths. Even if you don’t think of yourself as a money expert, you do have skills that you already use to navigate your financial life? Things you do naturally may be strengths you can share with your kids. Are you…. • A pro at researching new information and making plans? • A math whiz who can calculate tricky problems on the spot? • A savvy shopper who can recognize a good deal when you see one? Chances are you shine in some of these areas and more? What’s your style? What are your strengths? Share them with your children. Think out loud. From your actions, your children often draw their own conclusions, and sometimes they might not be what you intend- ed! When you think out loud, you clarify what you’re doing and why. Try getting into the habit of thinking out loud during your day-to-day money and time management, so your kids can follow along.


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