It’s almost overwhelming the amount of resources available to parents today on the topic of economic literacy. From foundations that produce exceptional parent materials to raise economically literate kids, age appropriate books on the topic of money (almost one a day is written), or parent manuals with creative money instruction to the Internet which brings money topics to an interactive, colorful life for our kids to experience, information is at an all-time high. It is there for the taking, and it’s really, really good stuff. So, what’s the problem?
Time. There is just not enough of it available for today’s parents and their kids. Time to find the information. Time to read the information. Time to understand, digest and then weave the information into the daily lives of our very busy and active children. Parents simply run out of time to read and then educate their children about money. In fact, many parents are at as big a loss on the topic of money too, so they avoid the subject all together. But we, as parents, cannot be let off the hook.
Most of the students who took the 1997 Jump$tart test indicated that what little they did learn about money came from lessons learned at home, from their parents and relatives, not at school. Kids learn about money the same way that they learn how to walk and tie their shoes – from watching their parents. And while schools attempt to expand their curriculum on money, they still cannot replace the role and impact that a parent makes every day as they deal with and manage the family’s money.
Parents have the best opportunity to raise an economically prepared kid, ready to handle credit and to save wisely. Unfortunately, the dismal statistics show us that parents need to prepare themselves to raise economically literate kids. We need to accept that as parents, we are our child’s primary teacher on the topic of money. We can do it, it just takes time.