Raising Smart Kids
As a parent, you want your kids to know you can provide them with all their needs, but you also don’t want to raise spoiled children who feel entitled to their every whim.
How can you achieve that? To make things easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of five practical pointers for helping you reach your goal.
1.) Use an Allowance as a Teaching Tool
Studies say 89% of parents who give their kids an allowance require them to earn that money through chores, but it’s best if allowances are not granted as a reward. Instead, use them as a teaching tool. By giving kids their own money with no strings attached, you can help them learn how to manage their money and control their spending habits.
2.) Boost Their Confidence
Peer pressure is a lifelong struggle that may be strongest during the school-age years. Help your children make the right choices by fostering a sense of worth independent of material possessions. Boost their confidence, so they feel good about themselves just for who they are.
3.) Say No
It is crucial that you refuse your children’s requests on occasion. Everyone needs to learn how to accept a no.
Say your daughter asks for a $200 designer jacket she doesn’t need. If you give in to her begging, you may be affecting her future choices and standards in two ways:
- You have diminished the value of $200 in her eyes.
- You are raising her standards to a level you – or she – may not be able to sustain.
When turning down a request, don’t mention money. Instead of saying: “We can’t afford that right now.” Try: “You don’t really need that right now.”
4.) Encourage Work
Kids who hold down a job are getting a head start on life as an adult. Encourage your child to look for a summer job, shovel snow for neighbors in the winter and accept occasional babysitting jobs. They’ll learn responsibility, develop a work ethic and they’ll start to value their money more.
When they do the work, let them decide what to do with the money. Encourage them to save and Box Elder Credit Union has great incentives for kids who save, like the Dollar Dog Savings Club. The program offers a surprise when they deposit money each month, and fun games and activities online.
5.) Model Gratitude and Giving
One of the most important lessons you can give your children is to appreciate what they have and to give back to others. Use every available opportunity to model these behaviors for your children.
Make gratitude a family project by having every child share a part of their day for which they’re thankful at the dinner table. Or, create a “Jar Of Gratitude,” in which family members drop small slips of paper describing something they’re grateful for, to be read aloud weekly in front of the entire family.
Do the same with giving, bringing your children along with you when you donate old clothing or food. Allow them to watch you give money to your favorite charitable causes.
By helping your children develop these habits and essential traits, you’ll ward off feelings of entitlement and raise kindhearted, giving adults.