Keeping your children occupied at home can prove challenging; it’s a real strain, trying to keep them engaged and interested. With the COVID-19 outbreak causing the majority of children to be home-schooled, parents are understandably concerned about their education and development. One perfect way to help your children, a skill which isn’t necessarily on the curriculum but is vital for everyday life, is financial education.
Due to limited curriculum time and financial knowledge, few children and young adults currently receive financial education lessons. Children’s attitudes to money are well-developed by the age of seven. Research* confirms that children and young adults who receive a formal financial education are more likely to be money confident. They are more likely to have a bank account, understand debt, be capable of saving and generally have the skills needed to make the most of their money in the future.
Teach a life skill
This is your opportunity to put financial education on the home learning curriculum. Simple things like playing family board games together promote financial literacy; games such as ‘Cashflow 101’ and the ever-popular ‘Monopoly’, which now has junior versions, are a good starting point. As is giving your children a small amount of pocket money, which you can encourage them to save and maybe earn a small amount of interest on.
For tweens and teens why not let them help with the weekly online grocery shopping, set them the budget and discuss the menu planning for the week. Not only does this help them understand the value of everyday things, it also teaches them how to manage a budget – a great skill to have when they leave home.
Talk to your children about how much things cost and very importantly, set a good example; your financial behaviour will lead the way. Emphasising that material goods are not what make people happy is a good lesson, as is reminding your child that some of the most valuable things in life, like spending time together, are free.
* Conducted by The Financial Capability Strategy, part of the Money & Pensions Service.
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