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Avoid these mistakes when teaching kids money lessons

Maya Hayakawa

It’s Global Money Week! Global money week is a financial campaign aimed at inspiring children and young people to learn about money matters, livelihood and entrepreneurship.

The goal of this movement is to make children economically empowered and capable of understanding the importance of saving and managing money more wisely.

As people always like to say, the children are the future, and so helping children expand their knowledge and skills on matters money will in the long run, have a positive impact not only to their family, but entire communities for generations to come.

In honour of it being Global Money Week, let’s explore some of the common mistakes parents make when teaching children lessons on money.


Kids do not do what you say, but what you do. Therefore, if you want to teach your children to be strong, principled and well grounded when it comes to financial matters, then you better possess these qualities yourself.

Children are always observing, always imitating your actions. Make sure the lessons you intend to teach are matching your actions. Be as open as possible, demonstrating how you save, spend and share money.


As parents, we often want to give our children the best, and never want to see our children hurt or dissapointed. Others want to give their children the very best, making sure their kids live the life they never had the chance to.

While your intentions may be coming from a good place, they might in the end hurt your children. Children need to learn that they will not always get what they want all the time.

They need to learn to be patient, and realise that delayed gratification leads to great satisfaction. If you always grant them their wishes, they grow up with the irrational belief that they can have whatever they want, whenever they want. This sense of entitlement will lead them to many disappointments in the future.

Do not be afraid to say no to them sometimes, even when you can afford to say yes; as it teaches them to deal with disappointments. While they may sulk for a couple of days, they eventually get over it, and in the end, it helps them develop the necessary skills to make crucial decisions later in life.


As you seek to educate your child on matters finances, be mindful of how you resolve conflicts regarding money especially with your spouse, or even family members or friends.

Money in reality does constitute a significant part of how we relate with others, sometimes even causing rivalries and breaking relationships. Research has shown that arguing infront of your children is detrimental to their personal and psychological development. It also embeds in them certain perceptions about money and relationships.

While discussing money issues, or resolving financial conflicts with a second party, be sure to do so in a healthy and constructive way. You want to be open and transparent in these issues so children can learn how to effectively resolve money conflicts with others.


Rewarding good behaviour with money does not work. You do not want your children growing up thinking they deserve a medal, or financial compensation for good acts.

You want your children to demonstrate good behaviour because it is the right thing for them to do. You want to instill internal, or intrinsic values which depict thoughtfulness, care and good consideration. If you want your child to grow up with these positive attributes, you want them to realise that there are certain aspects of character that are built internally.

The same works the other way. Avoid punishing your child by manipulating them with money. You do not want their motivation to be solely dependent on external factors such as money.


Take your kids with you for any transaction you make. If you need to pay their school fees, take them with you. If you are going to the bank take them with you. If you’re going to the grocery store let them tag along.

Planning a family vacation? Take them through the process. Be as open as possible with your children. Involving your children in these activities offers you the opportunity to talk about how and why you are spending money. T

his will give them the chance to ask questions they may have, and this builds on their money managing skills. It also gives awareness that nothing falls magically from the sky, but is earned through hard work and careful planning.

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