If you feel overwhelmed and confused about how to teach your child about money, you are definitely not alone. Many of us mums feel this way, especially if we are grappling with a fixed and scarcity mindset and are not happy with our own financial behaviour and situation.
I was one of those mums. I was financially illiterate and felt guilty and powerless because I didn’t know how to teach my young son about money (and I felt more than ashamed about my own financial behaviour).
All that changed when I discovered the power of my money beliefs and money mindset and how together, they seem to be the framework for financial success.
A money mindset is the way we THINK about money, drives how we ACT with money, and ultimately determines our FINANCIAL SUCCESS OR STRESS.
Even more powerful than our thoughts are our UNCONSCIOUS MONEY BELIEFS. Experts say these money beliefs are pretty much set by the time we are 7 and that childen mostly learn their money beliefs, habits and mindsets from observing their parents and other adults of influence.
It makes sense then to not only teach our children the financial skills and habits they need to GET, KEEP, GROW and SHARE money but also to show them how to BELIEVE in themselves and their abilities.
HOW EXACTLY DO WE DO THIS?
WE TEACH THEM SUPPORTIVE MONEY BELIEFS AND A GROWTH AND ABUNDANCE MONEY MINDSET at the same time we are teaching them FINANCIAL SKILLS and HABITS.
When it comes to harnessing the power of the mind to create a solid financial foundation for our children, Carol Dweck’s concept of ‘The Growth Mindset’ and Stephen Covey’s idea of ‘The Abundance Mentality’ provide a useful framework. These two particular holistic approaches boil down into two primary beliefs. Firstly, that there are enough resources (including money) and successes for everybody, and secondly, that everything we need and want is available to us through effort, determination, work, kindness and gratitude for what we already have.
5 Simple Ways To Nurture a Positive Money Mindset
1. Create a ‘My healthy wealthy life’ vision board
The purpose of this activity is for each child to discover and express what wealth means to them.
Gather your supplies – download our free ‘my wealthy healthy life’ vision board kit for pre-tweens, or download our free ‘my wealthy healthy life’ vision board kit for teens, find a poster sized piece of paper/card, get some glue, scissors, colour pencils/markers and a stack of old magazines. (Our kits include a mum’s guide with conversation starters and thinking triggers.)
Ask the children to notice what FEELINGS come up when they hear the word ‘wealth’.
Discuss how they FEEL when they are having fun with their friends, achieving goals, making their savings grow, enjoying cuddles with their pet, laughing with family, going on holiday, eating ice-cream, reading a good book, improving school work, doing a favourite sport or hobby, or showing kindness to an animal or a person who is feeling sad?
Get busy cutting out the images, affirmations and statements from the downloaded kit and/or cut out out pictures of things that represent these feelings, and glue them to the board. Add drawings, sparkle or words to complete a personal vision board to embody ‘wealth’.
Stimulate thought with questions and prompts such as:
What makes you feel happy?
What is your superpower?
Does wealth mean lots of expensive toys, or is it really the experience of playing that you like?
What makes you feel powerful inside?
How can we help others who have less than us?
At the end of this exercise children should be aware that a wealthy healthy life is about cultivating these feelings as well as having enough money to buy what we need and want.
2. From little things big things grow: Understanding compound interest
Uncomplicate the concept of compound interest with this visual 60-day, 3-step project. This exercise also provides opportunity to discuss the rewards of saving, starting early and with small amounts.
- Label a clear jar or container with the word ‘Investment’
- Use play money, marbles or rocks as coins and place 10 in the container
- Explain that the investment will earn 10% interest which means that for every 10 coins in the investment, one coin will be added to the jar. Each day tally the coins in the investment and add 1 ‘coin’ for each 10 coins.
The first days of this exercise won’t deliver much impact. But by day 16, the magic of compound interest will start to show!
- Run a competition to see who guesses closest to how many coins will be in the investment at the end of 60 days
- Continue past the 60 days and see how the money in the investment grows even quicker.
3. Design your own gratitude ritual
The positive benefits of practicing gratitude are well documented. Studies show that when we pay attention to the good things in our lives, the more goodness we will notice and therefore cultivate. We can teach children about the ripple effect of their thoughts and explain each of us possess the choice to focus on things that make us feel angry and sad or calm and happy.
Encourage children to firstly NOTICE, then NAME, and finally express WHY they are grateful for a particular thing. For example, a child may say: “I am grateful for my dog because we love each other. We have fun together by cuddling and she is soft and warm”.
Strengthen this simple gratitude practice by encouraging them to write down their observations (perhaps in a journal) or say them out loud in the present moment.
4. Play with the power of posture and feel brave and confident from the inside
- Squeeze shoulder blades together
- Suck in your belly
- Lift up your rib-cage
- Tilt your pelvis forward
- Relax your knees
- Lift your chin
Remind them to breathe easy, turn the music back on and enjoy a few more rounds of ‘Power-posture play’.
Ask the children how the power-posture play game made them feel. How could they use this in the future? Compare the costs of power dressing to the savings of power ‘posturing’.
5. Introduce them to the concept of PASSIVE INCOME and MULTIPLE INCOME STREAMS
The current universal mindset seems to say that we must get a job and rely only on that one job for our income. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN FOR WHATEVER REASON, THAT ONE SOURCE OF INCOME DRIES UP?
PRACTICE MAKES PROGRESS AND FORMS HABITS
So the more opportunities we create for our children to practice financial skills and a growth and abundance way of thinking, the deeper and more solid we are laying their financial foundation for them.
They cannot do it without us.
REMEMBER FINANCIALLY SMART ADULTS ARE RAISED NOT BORN AND YOU MAMA/MOM/MOTHER/MUM ARE BUSY RAISING ONE.
Now that is something to pat yourself on the back about!!!!