Welcome to the Information Age. We live in a time where you are considered a failure if you don't go to school, get good grades and then land a job as a result of that schooling.
Our world today is changing at a speed faster than it has ever changed. We have people becoming millionaires from laptops in their dorm rooms. We have new companies sprouting at alarming rates due to the opportunities the Internet presents. Companies have downsized because they now have a computer doing the job you did last year.
An alarming amount of people in our society are becoming prisoners in this innovative world, working harder than ever for a dollar that is worth the same amount it was years ago.
The lack of a financial education is to blame. Unfortunately, you won’t find that kind of education in your public schools. As parents, we are responsible for molding our children into self-sufficient, contributing citizens to this society.
I know there are many people like myself who worry that you may not have the proper knowledge or the background to be qualified to teach your child the ropes to financial success.
Seriously, how can I teach my kids the ropes if I have credit card and student loan debts myself? All it takes is the will to learn. Here are some ways we can step up and guide our children to become better advocates for themselves and their finances.
1. Find their learning style.
Children are supposed to be constantly learning. They absorb everything they see, read and hear. It is in their instincts to fall and get back up and make mistake after mistake to learn a lesson.
According to Howard Gardner in his book, “Frames of Mind,” there are a total of seven learning personalities. Only one is honored in our school system, so while a fraction of students are excelling in our school curriculums, the rest bite the dust because of this disadvantage.
Sadly, our society blames the child and prescribes him or her with ADHD medications and brands him or her as a special needs case. By involving yourself in discovering your child’s style of learning, you can help him or her integrate it into his or her schoolwork.
Help your child realize his or her strengths and in return, you will have a child with a higher self-confidence and self-perception in the classroom.
2. Understand the importance of a formal education.
In order to be successful in today's rapidly changing world, education is crucial.
Although having the knowledge to be financially free does not require much from formal education, it is so important to prepare your child to find an occupation that will allow him or her to become financially stable.
If your child despises school and isn't doing well, dig up the reason! Get involved and find out his or her style of learning and then teach him or her how to use it advantageously.
3. Give them power before you give them money.
Don’t just surrender and give your kids an allowance because it’s expected. Teach your children early that your income is just a resource to becoming wealthy.
Understand that the more you need money, the less of it you will have. With that frame of mind, money is just an idea. It doesn't take money to make money, but rather, it takes powerful ideas to turn that old formula around and have money work for you.
Let go of the old formula you were taught to believe in that has landed you in the rat race. By ending that train of thought, you will help your child realize that there is money to be created by the ideas he or she comes up with.
4. Have fun!
Pull out Monopoly or The Game of Life and use them to help your child learn. A child learns best when he or she is having fun.
By using games as a tool for learning how to become financially intelligent, you are teaching your kids the differences between good debt and bad debt. Good debt is what you invest, and bad debt results from things you buy when you cannot afford them.
Educate your children on the dangers of instant gratification and improper credit card use. Young adults are the number one targets for credit card companies because they are the most vulnerable and ignorant.
5. Lead by example.
Children of all ages learn from example. Change the ways you spend money and how you direct it. Improve your financial IQ with the goal of influencing your child to do the same when he or she is older.
Change the way you view money and instead of teaching your children to think, “I can’t afford that,” teach them to think, “How can I afford that?”
As a mother of two young children, I have taken charge in teaching my kids the things they need to know in order to be successful in this world. We can’t depend on our government to do it for us.
There are more people working past the age of 65 than ever before, simply because they don't have the financial means to retire. Hard-working adults are becoming obsolete in their careers because they have failed to change their success formulas in this Information Age.
Don’t let your children fall into those statistics. Remind them and remind yourself that no one is going to take care of you during your Golden Years but yourself.
Those days where you can rely on the government or your job to support you in retirement are gone. Give children the knowledge they will need in their adult lives so they don't become the average American drowning in debt and not thinking about the future.
Our children will inherit this world from us. Equip them with the knowledge they will need to have what it takes.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It