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As parents it is important to guide your children as much as possible.  Ensuring that they are getting the proper knowledge and life experiences. To do so make it a priority to engage in open and candid discussions.

From laid back conversations to important ones. There is always the opportunity to support and lead your child. These discussions will evolve as they grow up and your children start to become more independent. Below are four examples of essential conversations to have with your child. It is also important to note how to have them at different ages. 

The Self Care Talk

Self care is essential at any stage of life. Encouraging your child to engage in self care will create healthy habits. It is good for relieving stress and monitoring emotions. For younger kids self care can be as simple as quality time with family and friends.

Spending time outside, trying new recipes, or getting creative with crafts are all solid options for younger children. Any activity that can minimize stress and bring forth positive emotions, can be self care for young ones.

As your child grows, they will start to find what works best for them. Whether it is going on hikes, journaling, or listening to music, self care will provide them with time to check in with themselves. They can learn how to monitor how they are feeling. Inspire your child to engage in regular self care to prevent feeling burnt out or overwhelmed. 

The Personal Finances Talk

As parents, providing a strong financial foundation to your child will help them develop a healthy relationship with money. You may think that personal finances are for teens or young adults. But children as young as five can be taught the value of money and saving.

Young Children

Chores and allowance are a great way to teach your child how to earn and save their own money. Start by creating a chore chart that your child can follow. You will want to communicate with them your expectations. Understanding what it takes to complete their chores and start to earn money. By completing household tasks, children will learn how to become more responsible and independent.

While they start to earn their own money work with them to come up with a system for  saving the majority of it. Something as simple as a piggy bank can motivate children to save rather than spend. Encourage your child to continue improving their spending, saving, and investing habits. This way they can have a healthy relationship with money. 

family teaching kids how to save money

Teens

As your child grows their relationship with money will get more complex. As they head into their teen years, they should have a solid understanding of more intricate money matters. For example, investing, debt, and credit are all financial topics that teens should become familiar with. As a parent you can guide your teen towards smart investing habits.

Nowadays, there are plenty of investing apps for teens that they can utilize. Your teen may not be earning a substantial amount of money at their part time job. However, encouraging them to invest will set them up for healthy future financial habits.

A good rule of thumb is to teach your child to save at least ten percent of their earnings. Then they can use that money invest. Once your teen has a solid grasp on investing, you will want to make sure they understand debt and credit scores. 

Debt and credit are two topics that your teen will need to comprehend as they approach adulthood. Work with your teen to make sure they understand what debt is and how to best manage it.

In simple terms you can explain to your teen that debt is borrowed money that must be paid back. Your ability to pay this back is demonstrated by a credit score. There are plenty of habits that you can teach to your teen to minimize debt. These include budgeting, reading bills carefully, and paying bills on time and in full.

Parents should stress to their teens that if they do not engage in healthy financial habits it could negatively affect their long term financial health. Strong credit will ensure that your child has a good credit score to buy a house, car, and even find employment in the future.

Finances can be a tricky subject at any age but giving children a strong financial foundation early on will help them avoid roadblocks as they head into adulthood. Of course leading by example is always the most important way to teach!

The Planning For the Future Talk 

Motivating children to think about their future is one of the most fulfilling things you can do as a parent. For younger children getting them to talk about their future can be simple. Talking to them about what interests them and what their dreams are is a great start.

Even if the responses are silly. Getting them to open up about what they are envisioning can help you understand more as a parent. To get the ball rolling, consider using games or activities to spark the conversation. Classic games such as M.A.S.H. or paper fortune tellers can make it easier for younger kids to think creatively about what their future will look like.

To keep the conversation going as your child gets older, journals can be used. This can actively keep your child thinking about his or her future. Journals can be utilized to answer fun questions.  Helping to keep candid conversations happening between parents and children. Check out the questions below to get started on your journaling journey. 

  • Who is someone you look up to and why?
  • What worries you about the future?
  • What is something you are looking forward to?
  • How can I help you achieve your goals?
  • What is your dream job?
  • What is something you want to learn more about?
  • What do you want to get better at?

The Healthy Relationships Talk

Another crucial talk that parents should have with their children is the importance of healthy relationships. No matter what age your child is, they should have a good understanding of what healthy relationships look like and what they involve.

The best thing a parent can do is model healthy relationships in the home. Parents can demonstrate honesty, respect and healthy communication in their relationship. Kids will pick up on habits they see their parents doing and try to model it.

Parents should discuss with their children what unhealthy relationships look like as well. Inform your kids that unhealthy relationships can involve name calling, abuse, insults, and even threats.

Once they can identify healthy versus unhealthy relationships, you will want to discuss setting boundaries. Personal boundaries are something that younger kids and teens can both set. Boundaries let both individuals in the relationship know what is okay and what is not.

As your child gets older, the focus can shift to other types of relationships. This should include digital relationships, work relationships, and romantic relationships. While the relationships may change, the expectations of what a healthy relationship looks like should stay the same. 

Keep the Conversations Going

As parents you must be willing to have certain conversations with your child. Having conversations about self care and healthy relationships, provides your child with a better understanding of how to take care of themselves and how to treat others with respect.

Talking with your children about personal finances and how to plan for the future ensures that your child is ready for what is to come. They will know how to handle certain money matters. As they grow and learn, these conversations will evolve. But giving your children the structure to handle these matters will benefit them in the long run.



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1 Comment

  1. Nicholas Rabin Reply

    By instilling good financial habits from a young age, parents can empower their children to make smart financial decisions and build a solid foundation for their future.

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