Instead of Managing Money for Kids, Give them a Voice in Family Decisions
People around the U.S. and the world are beginning to realize that, when members of a family put their heads together, they make steps toward achieving important family goals. The days of parents handing down all the family decisions should arguably be a thing of the past. Instead of managing money for kids and deciding their futures, parents who let their children take part in family decision-making both empower the kids and improve family outcomes.
Involving the whole family in working toward a financial goal is an excellent method to teach children about money. And when they learn about money, they become empowered for life. Improving the financial capabilities of today’s children strengthens not only the family, but the whole community, the nation, and the world.
Corporations, sports teams, charities, and fraternal organizations all use goal-setting to bring team members closer together and accomplish key objectives. The system works for families just as well. The more family members who join together in working toward a goal, the faster they’ll get there. And when you set family financial goals as a group, you begin to teach kids money management concepts that will help them turn sound money practices into lifelong habits.
Part of turning family goal-setting into financial literacy activities for kids involves figuring out each family member’s important individual motivations. Maybe Mom wants to buy a lakeside vacation home; or Dad would like to retire at age 55. Junior might want to turn snowboarding into a rewarding career, while Missy fantasizes about choreographing for a dance troupe. Take time to listen to each other and share your personal dreams.
Once you all understand what each family member wants for the future, you can begin striving toward alignment. That is, you can begin identifying the positive actions you can take that will help everyone achieve their goals. Everyone in the family has to do his or her part. That way, with money management, kids learn significant money skills while the whole family moves forward.