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As a mother to two preschool aged children, I am always on the lookout for those great teachable moments. Teaching them their manners, treating others with respect and the difference between right and wrong certainly top the list. But another important teachable moment that I sometimes forget that is just as equally important is the lesson about money.
Just the other day, my 5 year old and I passed the ice cream shop in my hometown. It is the local summer hotspot and the line was super long. As we drove by, the shop’s bright colors immediately caught his attention and he yelled from the backseat, “Mommy, I want an ice cream.” Seeing how long the line was I thought of what I believed to be the easiest, “nope, we are not stopping” excuse I could give him, “Sorry, sweetie, Mommy’s out of money.” Without hesitation, he replied, “Well, let’s go to the machine,” as he pointed in the direction of the ATM nearby, “It’ll give you money!”
Wow! I thought. That’s a teachable moment. For the remainder of the trip home (yes, we didn’t stop at all), we discussed how and why the machine gives Mommy money. My son quickly learned (and probably TMI for a 5 year old) why only sometimes he and his sister could get a special treat from the ice cream shop.
To help parents like me have the “money talk” with their child, Laura Shin, a contributor to “Forbes” magazine, writes in her article, “The 5 Most Important Money Lessons to Teach Your Kids”, great ideas and easy, teachable lessons geared to children from as young as 3 to 18 and older. Check it out here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2013/10/15/the-5-most-important-money-lessons-to-teach-your-kids/.