December 24, 2008

Teaching Kids About Money For Life-Long Healthy Financial Habits

Kids catch onto the importance of money in life pretty quickly as they watch us use it. The way to show your child the value of a dollar is by teaching them the different ways a dollar is used.

Begin When They’re Young

Begin explaining to your child how money works from a young age. It’s important for kids to know you get money by earning it. Items (or services) in life are given in return for money, and the value or worth of that item varies according to the seller. If you do not have enough money, you can not purchase the item.

A follow-up to this is talking about saving money. A child with a couple dollars could go buy a piece of candy (that’ll be gone in 10 seconds) or an inexpensive toy (that will be broken in 10 minutes or completely forgot about the next day). However, if that child decides to save those dollars, a better item can be purchased that may have more meaning and last longer.

Have A Savings Plan

One way to teach children about savings is setting a percentage they should save every time they earn money. Ten percent is an easy sum to learn; simply move the decimal point one space to the left. For every $1.00 earned, $0.10 will be saved ($23.48 earned, $2.34 saved).

This savings isn’t for a better short-term item, but for a “rainy day” or even a car or college fund. The remaining $0.90 can be used for the candy or “better item” as mentioned above. This principle can teach the child self discipline for very long-term savings (i.e. a house or retirement when they’re an adult).

Sure, a six-year-old won’t understand the “rainy day” concept, and driving in ten years may be discouraging. But after saving 10% over the years, it’ll add up. This teaching is especially helpful when they get their first job and are already in the habit of saving that 10% for long-term use.

You might also set aside a certain percentage for charitable giving, so kids can also learn about this important aspect of managing money.

As Your Child Grows

When your child is more mature, take him or her to the bank with you and open a line of savings in their (and your) name. Once or twice a month, take your child to the bank so they can deposit their money into their account. Let them see the bank statement and watch how their money is growing with the help of interest.

Interest is a huge part of using money. Either it’ll make you pay more than what your item was originally worth (credit) or it can help you make more money. Teenagers need to understand that unless you can pay off that debt within 30 days, you’ll actually be paying more for your purchased item.

One way to show how detrimental or great interest can be is by doing some role-play. Pick an item your teenager currently wants to purchase on a credit card. Make a chart showing how making only the minimum payment affects the total debt (you’ll also need to explain APR), how long it takes to pay off the debt with minimum payments, and how much interest is paid in total.

On that same note, take the number of months it took to pay off the credit card and show how much interest he/she’d be making in a savings account while putting money away to save for that item. The amount of interest isn’t much, but the point to make is if you save money to purchase the item, you will only pay that sum without the additional cost of interest.

When children understand how money works they’ll (hopefully) be more inclined to use responsibility when making money decisions.

Laura Nelson-Smith is the resident editor of Career & Finance at Schmoozins – an online magazine for women that gives all women a voice. Join us as a contributor, schmoozer or just hang out a while.

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December 22, 2008

Conventional models of parenting

“Rules of traffic” models

It is an instructional approach to upbringing. Parents explain to their children how to behave, assuming that they taught the rules of behavior as they did the rules of traffic. What you try to teach a child doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll get through to them. For example, a teenager was told “a thousand times” that stealing was wrong yet the teen continued to do so. The problem of parenting, in this case, is not that they tried to teach him/her the right thing, but that they considered parenting as a single, narrow minded method of parenting, without fulfilling the range of parental duties.

“Fine gardening” model

Parents believe that children have positive and negative qualities, the latter of which parents should “weed out” or “prune” into an appropriate shape. The problem in this parenting method is that parents fight with the faults of their child rather than appreciate their current achievements and/or capabilities; a method which may continue through their whole life without success.

“The models “rules of traffic” and “fine gardening” are especially dangerous because we, following our best motives, constantly quarrel with our children, destroy relationships, and all our parental work becomes a hopeless effort. Moreover, we don’t understand why this has happened.” S.Soloveychik, [2]

“Reward and punishment” model

“RaP” is a most popular model of parenting based on logic: for a good action – a reward/praise and for a bad action – a punishment/scolding/reprimand. To teach a child by this logic is relatively easy and can even be effective, especially if it is done consistently. It is because it forms a sense of justice in a child’s mind that it works. But, simultaneously, it imparts the child’s universal image of the reward and punishment and when real life doesn’t prove to be just it undermines the child’s faith in justice, according to S.Soloveychik. He writes “It is dangerous for the future of children. It may happen that a man, grown up by this model, facing the first serious failure or first trouble, would lift his arms and ask, “Why me?”


December 18, 2008

Hottest, Craziest Baby Names

What were they thinking?

  • Apple
  • Bronx Mowgli
  • Sunday Rose

More about these names right here

More stories:

Store Refuses to Make Birthday Cake for Adolf Hitler

Here’s one more:

6 Baby Names You Probably Shouldn’t Give Your Kid

December 17, 2008

Parents, poor role models for kids

Parents are usually considered to be a child’s first teachers and role models. But, a study has some dampening news for today’s generation of

Researchers at the Children’s Society in Britain have carried out the extensive study and found that children aren’t acquiring basic moral values nowadays because today’s parents are actually poor role models.

For their study, the researchers questioned 1,176 people — they found that two thirds of adults believe that the moral values of young people have declined considerably since the time when they were young, ‘The Times’ reported. According to the society, the rise of the celebrity culture and weakening family bonds are undermining traditional moral values among young people.

Full story: Parents, poor role models for kids

December 16, 2008

Lessons From a Single Mom

An incredibly heart-warming story of courage and perseverance and strength. A must-read.

My daughter was born 33 years ago. I did everything more traditional. I worked full-time. My daughter had before-school and after-school care. She was a latchkey kid in fourth grade. We lived in a small block where everyone looked out for her. She went to private school and now is a nurse. It was more traditional for her; I was paying for child care where needed.


With my second daughter, my oldest was in her first year of nursing school; she was 18. I just knew that I didn’t want to do things the same way. I would turn 40 when she was born. I couldn’t see going through the same thing. I would have had to work a job and a half to put her through school and do the different things that I’d done with my oldest child, and I didn’t have the support I had with the oldest child. A lot of things had changed. Not as many women were staying home. Families had ventured out. Two to three generations were no longer living in the same house.

Full story: Lessons From a Single Mom