Teach Your Kids Self Reliance and Financial Responsibility
by Brad Chaffee
Have you ever wondered how you could teach your kids the value of hard work, and help them learn to mange money? I believe that teaching your kids to earn a commission, as opposed to getting an allowance, will help them do just that. Too many parents give their kids an allowance, which really teaches them nothing except for the fact that they got money for simply breathing.
Is that really how the real world works?
NO. In fact, the people who sit around waiting for a handout are hurt the worst. They have no idea what it means to use Dave Ramseyâ€™s words, â€œleave the cave, kill something, and drag it home.â€ Thatâ€™s not to be taken literally, it just means that if you want something, then find a way to get it. In our society, the easiest (and the hardest) way to do so, is by the sweat of our own brow.
The real world says that you are on commission. Work get paid, donâ€™t work, donâ€™t get paid. Thatâ€™s an absolute fact. Since I always hear, â€œWhat about those that canâ€™t work?â€, I feel I must point out I am not talking of those who legitimately cannot work. Not wanting to work, and not being able to work are two different things.
In life, someoneâ€™s ability to work may be affected. Sometimes thereâ€™s not much we can do about that, but we can try as best we can to prevent our children from becoming unproductive and unwilling to work.
Teaching your kids to earn money, so that they may learn how to provide for themselves and their family, produces a solid work ethic that should not be underestimated.
Teaching your kids to earn money comes with responsibility.
Just like in the real world, you can work yourself into the grave, earn loads of money, and still struggle financially. Money doesnâ€™t guarantee success, that is unless of course it is properly managed.
Teaching your kids how to manage their money is just as important as teaching them how to earn it. Believe it or not there are plenty of doctors, lawyers, and even financial â€œgurusâ€, that prove if you possess the wrong habits and behaviors, it doesnâ€™t matter how much you make.
What age should you begin working with your children?
I must say that the most important thing to remember as a parent is to keep it age appropriate. We started working on both of these when our son was about 2.5 years old, but we didnâ€™t run a slave camp, nor did we pay him a lot of money.
Most of the time in the early stages, we were the ones that cleaned up most of his room, and he would get some change from our pocket put into his Little Tykes Piggy Bank. Now he cleans up his toys by himself, but you canâ€™t expect too much, too fast out of your child in the name of teaching them. Be patient.
3-12 years of age is what Dave Ramsey recommends, which is what we based our actions on. We have seen no reason to believe that 3 years of age is too early to teach them basic financial principles. Be realistic.
If your kid is bored, he/she is not going to learn a thing. Grab some arts and crafts supplies and help them make their commission worksheet. Buy some stickers with their favorite cartoon characters on them. They get a sticker, and a commission, whenever they do the work required of them. Be creative.
You donâ€™t need financial books, or complicated gadgets to teach them about work and money. You just need a simple plan to get them started. Once theyâ€™ve earned money, teach them how togive, save, and spend it. Keep it simple.
Another thing to take into consideration, is that your kids should not get paid for â€œeverythingâ€ they do. Sometimes they should have to do something because they are a part of the family and it helps the family out. Think of this in terms of working a real job. We usually have certain tasks and jobs that we are hired to do, but as anyone who has ever worked a day in their life knows, there are always other things that we are sometimes asked to do. We donâ€™t get paid to do those things, but usually they are in the best interest of the company, so we do them. Be purposeful.
It is up to you to help your child develop the right attitude for self sufficiency and responsible money management.
One of the most important qualities, besides integrity, would be personal responsibility. Personal responsibility forms positive, and action-driven habits and characteristics that are essential to personal growth. Build character.
If your kids grow up to think that someone else has the answers, it wonâ€™t take them long to develop the self-destructive, negative attitude that follows. Be positive.
The kids are the future, so help them make it a good one.
Brad Chaffee is a regular contributor here at Self Reliance Works. He has become debt free by paying off $26,076.75 in just 20 months. Learn more about Brad by reading his bio. You may also contact him at Enemy of Debt.