Do you talk to your kids about money? Be aware - financial illiteracy can catch up with them in adulthoodArticle
13. 06. 2023
Although we often don't realize it, children begin to notice the importance of money from an early age. They are influenced by their environment and family, but also by their classmates. This is why we should teach our children to think healthily about finances as soon as possible, perhaps as a game. At a later age, it is very important to involve children in conversations about income and expenses in the household, which should also include the discussion about pocket money. It’s through interaction with parents that children and adolescents can best learn independence and responsibility. According to experts, this head start will come back to them many times over in adult life.
Children also create their values according to the environment in which they grow up. In the school and preschool collective, when they meet peers from different social groups for the first time, it can therefore be very difficult for them to judge what is "usual" or "normal". Even the youngest can develop misconceptions about what is right in terms of money. In practice, this can be manifested, for example, in an exaggerated need for material goods - expensive clothes, toys, or electronics.
In such cases, according to experts, it is always important to listen to the child and understand what motivates him to behave in this way. "I would recommend discussing with the child his opinions and wishes that lead him to a desire for, for example, telephone or designer clothes. However, it’s also important to talk with children about unpleasant feelings," explains Mgr. Kateřina Halfarová, LL.M., psychologist from Canadian Medical.
What impact does a lack of finances have on a child's development?
From an early age, a child learns to manage money, which affects his adolescence and other life stages. If there is a lack of money in the family, parents and children naturally perceive it negatively - especially if it directly disrupts their daily routine. Long-term deficiency is frustrating, leads to deterioration of family relationships, and can even be a cause of health problems. According to the psychologist, despite the difficult situation, parents should try to create a sense of peace and security for the child at home.
"People must set their priorities, goals, wishes and needs in such a way that they are satisfied over the long term with what they have and can have," says the psychologist, adding that bad memories associated with material lack and long-term failure to satisfy basic needs can carry throughout life. It will be fully manifested, for example, only in adulthood, when looking for a job or a partner. Problems can also be effectively prevented by parents seeking the help of an expert.
Setting pocket money
An individual approach and social background understandably also play a role in setting pocket money. At the same time, it is not only the amount itself that is key, but also what the children spend the money on. One of the main functions that pocket money should fulfill is to teach children how to handle money properly. "In this respect, less is often more. If children only have a limited amount of money at their disposal, they learn more quickly to decide what is worth spending on and what is not. This leads them to independence and responsibility. At the same time, they learn basic financial literacy, money management and saving," adds Mgr. Kateřina Halfarová, LL.M., finally advising parents not to compare the amount of their child's pocket money with the pocket money of children in other families, and rather talk with children about set priorities and wishes, including the development of critical thinking and planning for the future. Comparison in general can be the source of many unpleasant feelings - it is often the cause of feelings of inferiority or exclusion from the collective.
Mgr. Kateřina Halfarová, LL.M., psychologist at Canadian Medical