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Parents urged to rethink how they teach kids about money

Media release from Iron Road Ltd

Parents urged to rethink how they teach kids about money or chores

With the average IQ increasing generation on generation*, parents are being urged to rethink old-fashioned methods – like the carrot or the stick – when it comes to getting children to do constructive things like chores or managing their money better.

Operations Manager at Westforce Credit Union, Mr Victor Martick, said the credit union’s involvement with parents and their children – particularly around financial literacy – showed that most parents want to teach their children the value of hard work, responsibility and making a valuable contribution to society.

“Even more important – but most neglected – is passing on skills like how to work well with money. Parents tell us however, that they struggle because children seem so smart these days.

“Telling them to 'do their chores just because you said so', usually means there is only one winner - you, the parent. If you love your child enough to want them to win at life, you're going to have to teach them how,” he said.

Mr Martick said one approach parents could take is to find out what motivates your child and to use that as leverage:

1. Find out what motivates your child. For example, perhaps they would love a new bike or hockey stick. Offer to pay them an agreed sum to do selected chores (other than routine tasks like making the bed and cleaning their bedroom). Examples of money earning chores could be washing the car or mowing the lawn.

2. To begin with, encourage easy goals that don't take too long to achieve so that the child can get into the habit of attaining goals. For example, a hockey stick may be more achievable than a new bicycle.

3. Set the rules, including:
* When to do the dishes
* How to do them properly
* The reward they will receive
* How long it will take to reach their goal

4. Use emagineIF to document and track the chores, earnings and goals.

In an effort to make some contribution to changing the money habits of young New Zealanders, Westforce Credit Union recently teamed up with the developers of ‘emagineIF’ – a new, free platform that helps kids with goal setting, teaches them to save money and also has a fun ‘chore and reward facility’.

"emangineIF helps parents teach their children about money. It shows the correlation between work and earning money and the relationship between goal setting, aspirations and savings towards an end result,” he said.
*Professor James Flynn, Professor emeritus at the University of Otago (From INTELLIGENT LIFE magazine, December 2007)

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