Articles & Tools

How do you talk to your children about money?

Author: Shirley Ram Amit and Ricky Shahar, Senior Facilitators at the Adler Institute
An explanation of educating children for economic conduct. Served as food for thought for interested parents.

Every home and every family has worldviews related to money. In every house, some of the following sentences are heard: “Money is not talked about”, “Money does not grow on trees”, “The centenarian has the opinion”, “Money is not everything in life”, and more…

Even when things are not said loudly or openly, the messages are conveyed to the children through economic conduct, and they learn from them:

  • What do we consider an “important” expense and what to waste?
  • Who makes the decisions regarding finances and what is everyone consulted on?
  • Do the children receive pocket money or a budget and are they trusted?
  • Does the money they receive as a gift belong to them or to their parents? Are they allowed to use it as they wish?
  • Do children get paid for housework (e.g., looking after siblings or cleaning the stairwell) or are they expected to contribute their share free of charge?

The answers to such questions vary from family to family, depending on the attitudes and worldview of parents, and that’s perfectly fine – the main thing is that there are cohesive positions.

When there is no parental position and simply “flows”, money also “flows” and conflicts and quarrels around this issue increase.

How do you deal with the children on financial issues?

Set limits of budget, quantity (candy, clothing, recreation and stubble)

  • Determining a parental position on every expense – is it acceptable to us educationally? Does it fit our values?
  • Share our considerations with the children (“We don’t think it’s appropriate for a child your age”). There is no obligation to persuade, only to clarify the thought behind our decisions.
  • We consult with them and allow them to choose, within the budget we set, some of the expenses associated with them where we should spend time together? What gift will we buy for friends? What outfit would you like? Making a choice conveys respect and trust (“We trust you”) and boosts children’s self-confidence (“I’m capable”).
  • Provide them with a budget (depending on their age) and allow them to practice budget management, including the ability to plan, make mistakes, save or spend it all in one day.
  • We talk at eye level about concepts such as – important, worthwhile, worthwhile, taste and personal preference, must – need – want, and more.

One of the tools that can help in the family discourse about money, and in educating children to conduct themselves financially, is the game Bag-Tick-Tziv, developed by Paamonim’s team of experts. The game exposes the children, starting from the age of 7, to concepts in the world of the family’s economic content and to the need to make various and varied decisions in order to meet the family budget.

Download the game

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