Dollar Bills & Parenting Skills: 5 Common Money Lessons That You DON’T Want To Teach Your Children

How to teach your child money skills

Moms and dads don’t often think about how their money skills and spending habits affect their parenting skills. Unfortunately, this can lead to some costly mistakes (pun fully intended). Parents are a child’s first teacher and children learn vital skills from them, including money skills. Here are some common money mistakes that parents are guilty of:

1. Sending Mixed Messages

Most of us know that being responsible with our money entails knowing when not to buy something we want. Children need to learn this lesson as well, yet many parents send mixed messages when it comes to spending money. If you tell your child that you can’t afford to buy them a certain toy, you can’t turn around and spend $90 on something for yourself. Children will wonder why you can buy yourself something you want when they can’t have what they want. It sends a mixed message about values and this can negatively affect child development.

2. Not Distinguishing Between Needs and Wants

Young children cannot always differentiate between needs and wants, and sadly, neither can some adults. We often spend hundreds of dollars on something we think we need when something much less expensive would have sufficed. So parents, if you only need a new washer, there is no need to buy the matching dryer when the one you have at home works perfectly fine. There’s no reason to be spending extra money on extra items that aren’t needed. Teaching children this at a young age will help them manage their money and budgets when they’re older.

We all like to help our children when they make mistakes, but sometimes those mistakes can teach them valuable life skills.

3. Bailing Out Kids When They Spend All Their Money

We all like to help our children when they make mistakes, but sometimes those mistakes can teach them valuable life skills. If your child spends all of their allowance money at once, think twice before giving them more money. Instead, make them see how if they hadn’t spent all their allowance money at the arcade, they would have enough money to go to the movies AND the batting cages with their friends. Teaching them the pitfalls of compulsive spending at a young age will help them learn that money doesn’t grow on trees and that creating a savings system is beneficial.

4. Putting a Price Tag on Everything

While it’s important to teach our children the value of money, they also need to know that there is more to life than wealth. Skipping out on important events just because “someone has to pay the bills” can be harmful for a child’s self-esteem; and always offering money as a reward for things like good grades can downplay the value of hard work and the importance of setting goals. Encouraging your child to do their best and work towards a goal is much more important for their development and well-being, especially for a child with special needs.

Buy your children things they want every once in a while, but remember that there is no substitute for love and affection.

5. Using Money as a Substitute for Love and Affection

We all want to give our children everything they desire, but that shouldn’t mean spoiling them rotten. Buy your children things they want every once in a while, but remember that there is no substitute for love and affection. Teaching a child social skills and life skills is much more important than making sure they have all the latest toys and gadgets.

Inspired by the MSN Living article by Diane Harris, “5 Worst Money Mistakes Parents Make”. 

[box style=”rounded”]At Stanfield, We Think You Should Know:

Our LifeSmart Curriculum offers a two-part series that focuses on being “MoneySmart.” In our MoneySmart series, your students will learn the importance of managing money and intelligent shopping; thus, helping them avoid compulsive shopping, being scammed, and blowing budgets. Through our video modeling technique, your students will learn how to be savvy shoppers and handle their finances efficiently. Our LifeSmart curriculumis known to teach students the interpersonal social skills experts rate most important, so check it out today!


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