ARE YOU ON A PARENTING MINEFIELD TO TEACH YOUR CHILD MONEY LESSONS?



“Is money important?” My 4-year-old cousin asked when my mother gave me some amount and asked me to safely deposit in the bank. I answered with a hearty “Yes.” I explained it to her simply telling her that her candies and toys are bought with money. At this she innocently said, my daddy has lots of money. He goes to ATM and it gives him lot of money. 

It was as if she just sees money easily withdrawn but doesn’t know where it comes from and how it becomes less on spending. Today when children get things so easily, they don’t really value money. It’s important to make them understand the concepts of saving and investing so they grew with smart financial habits.

One of the great way to teach them to save and spend is introducing pocket money. Here are some money lessons they will learn when they start saving with pocket money.

1. Discipline of saving money starts at young age

Children as young as two can be taught to put coins in the piggy bank just by telling them to feed the hungry pig by pushing coins through the slot. This will simply excite the child’s imagination.

2. Money doesn’t come from bank

Explain that you work to earn money, the bank is a place where you keep the money safe and ATM gives money that you saved.

3. No shortcut. Work for it

Whether you fix a pocket money or decide to link it to chores; let it be a nominal amount. Also see that you don’t pay them for their daily chores. You reward them when they do something exceptionally good. Say, for keeping the room tidy consistently over a period of week, for setting the table for dinner, making their bed etc.

4. Saving is cool 

Sit with your child and discuss what he/she wants to buy with the money that’s being saved. May be saving for a new toy, a gift for a dear one, special outing, an extra pair of shoe the child likes. Saving up for it motivates the child to save more money and wait until they have sufficient money.

5. Happiness doubles with sharing

Have your child set a portion aside for charity, nevertheless how little it is. It teaches a very important value of money i.e. it can be used to help people. 

6. Every penny counts

As your child’s math skills advances, once the piggy bank is full he/she can physically count the money in their piggy bank and know how much money they’ve saved. This brings a sense of achievement and also helps them appreciate that each penny counts

7. Live within your means

Allow your child to buy things independently so he/she becomes aware of relative price of things and determines what he/she can buy. This will give them a practical experience to manage finances; planning budgets before spending. 

8. Don’t hasten in spending all at once

Initially your child may just fritter his/her money away but when he/she learns that he/she has to wait until the next month or week to get their pocket money; they are sure to realize the power of saving. 



5 TIPS ON DEALING WITH YOUR SHY CHILD


It was yet another meltdown evening for Sheena as she narrated an episode created by her 4-year-old son, Reyan, who accompanied her to an office party. As they arrived at the venue, Reyan was greeted and caressed by several of Sheena’s colleagues.

Reyan who is well known to be a shy child, has always preferred limited exposure to people. On finding himself surrounded by unfamiliar faces he began expressing his discomfort by crying out-loud and clinging to his mother wanting to return home. 

Each child exhibits his/her unique temperament (way of interacting with the world) and shyness is also one of these. While some children are effortlessly social and interact with people with ease, some hold back and are hesitant/take time to do so. It is extremely important for parents to know, there is nothing wrong with being a shy child. 

A shy, or child that takes a little time to warm up, might not be so outgoing and prefers to be on his/her own. What we need to know is that a little understanding conscious effort and support is all that is needed to help your child overcome his/her shyness and become confident and comfortable with social interactions.

1. TIME

Let your child take his/her time to understand any new surrounding/people. Let them first be amidst a few familiar faces and gradually introduce them to new faces in a soft and reassuring voice. If others describe him/her as shy for not immediately interacting, correct them politely, example – ‘she’s not shy, she’ll just get comfortable in a while and join in’. 


2. LITTLE THINGS THAT MATTER

Model confidence and social behaviour in your child’s presence so he/she can watch and learn. Comfort your child, yet, avoid over comforting as this gives him/her a signal that something’s not right. 


3. FOSTER SELF-ESTEEM

Most children tend to be shy because they lack confidence in themselves. Praise your child’s interactions by appreciating their little efforts (Example: it was really nice of you to greet aunt Rachel). 


4. ENCOURAGE SOCIALIZATION

Fix a play date/take your child to play zones where he/she is exposed to new children and new settings. Give your child enough time to feel comfortable and interact with other children and adults.


5. AVOID NEGATIVE COMPARISONS

When your child singles out himself in a gathering unlike other children; do not feel apologetic or push him/her to do something out of his will. Try to provide him/her a positive environment which lets his/her social personality develop naturally. 

As a parent, you must always try to be calm and understanding while raising a shy child. Also, be mindful of what you speak of them in their presence. With positive nurturing and sustained efforts your shy little one too will emerge as a confident & outspoken child.