A Lesson in Money; Is It Too Tough?

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Published by Ryan Cooley

I recently heard a story on the news that raised a lot of criticism.  It was about a mother who was teaching her daughter about money.  She charged her 5 year old monthly rent that was to be paid using a portion of her allowance.  Upon collecting the $5 rent, she was then depositing the money into a savings account for when her daughter is older.

I recently heard a story on the news that raised a lot of criticism.  It was about a mother who was teaching her daughter about money.  She charged her 5 year old monthly rent that was to be paid using a portion of her allowance.  Upon collecting the $5 rent, she was then depositing the money into a savings account for when her daughter is older.

Before I continue, I want to state that I am in no way telling people how to parent or judging this mom.  In fact, I applaud her for attempting to instill good values through life lessons.  This is an area most parents would agree is important.

In my own life, I had to learn lessons about money the hard way.  By making mistakes and improving my financial management over time, I learned that money does not grow on trees.  I also realized that we need to work hard and save instead of seeking instant gratification.  This is essentially the lesson the mom was trying to teach her daughter.  Unfortunately, just like in life, the lesson about money was a harsh one, especially for a 5 year old. But, is failing to educate your children about finances and sending them off into the world unprepared worse?

The criticism from the public was not because of what she was teaching but rather how she was teaching it.  It is important to make sure the lesson does not fall flat because of the negativity that surrounds it.  Is 5 just too young to charge rent?  Is her daughter able to understand what her mother is teaching her, or is it just coming across as unloving and mean?  I will let you be the judge.  The point is, if done correctly, teaching a child about money can be fun and rewarding.

There are plenty of websites and books to help with this curriculum.  In this article, for example, you can learn different lessons to teach your kids and at what age you should teach them.  You will notice that the lessons are positive, and they work towards a goal worth celebrating.  The thing to remember is to make it fun and take baby steps.  Your children will have plenty of time to worry about money.  The more we teach them now about how to get started on a good foot, the more we can help them avoid financial stress in the future.  In my opinion, the lesson the mom was teaching is a good one as long as her daughter understood the intention.  If not, then maybe the lesson should be reserved for when her daughter is older. For ideas on how to speak with your children about money, please see our free guide for talking to Millennials about managing their finances.

 

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