These timeless rules are followed by the rest of the Opdyke's article. Mentors and mentoring organizations can work these principles into presentations, training, or conversations, including incorporating them as a parental mini-lesson with food and fun. Remember we are reaching out to parents to inform them about becoming more positively involved in their children's lives and perhaps helping them improve their own circumstances.
by Jeff D. Opdyke
provided by the Wall Street Journal
Teach Your Children Well
1 Spending money happens only after you earn it.
2 When kids start asking parents to drive to the toy store to buy some plastic whatnot, it's time to consider an allowance.
3 The size of an allowance shouldn't be so meager that your child is a pauper among peers, nor so generous that your child can easily afford all wants with little financial planning.
4 Good grades are expected, and help around the house is simply the price of family life.
5 While 16 is usually the legal age of employment, encourage kids starting around age 13 to think of ways they can earn an income.
6 Guide and advise your kids about money, but don't dictate.
7 Failure to balance the debit card bank account monthly means losing access to the debit card for a week or more; failure to repay an entire month's cred cared balance means the loss of the card until the balance is fully paid off plus one additional month.
8 Only 50% of the money put into a piggy bank can be taken out to buy something. At least half must remain inside the pig.
9 Children should have the right to screw up financially so that they can learn from their mistakes.
10 When it comes to investing in stocks, kids should understand a company at such a basic level that they can draw a picture of the business model with a crayon.
11 You don't need to be wealthy to begin teaching your children about the stock market.
12 If a child's charitable interests lie outside your social interests, so be it.
13 Parents don't have to save every last dime a child will need for college expenses. You only have to save up to your ability or desire to pay.
14 One of the greatest gifts you can give your child is your own financial self-sufficiency when you're old.
15 At some point, you have to tell your kids that the Bank of Mom and Dad is officially closed.
It's simple calculus, kids and money: From birth until college graduation, children consume dollars like they're chicken nuggets.
For those of us who aren't independently wealthy, that puts unrelenting pressure on the family pocketbook. The financial demands of raising a child require that money you otherwise might use to prepare for retirement, or to ave for a nicer house, a sportier car or a swankier vacation, must, out of necessity, be earmarked for Lego sets and pediatrician visits and school uniforms and Christmas toys and a college savings account and a minivan and a trip to Disneyland...and lots of, well, chicken nuggets.
I'm not saying this to disparage kids. I have two of my own, and money is nothing in comparison to the happiness they bring me and my wife. Yet happiness does not negate the fact that the moment a child arrives--and actually, months before the arrival--your role as an adult changes in dramatic, profound ways.
And so, too, does your family's financial life.
Not only are you now on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars in costs over the next two decades, you also have a new obligation to teach your children about money so that they grow up into adults who are at home in the financial world and who have a healthy relationship with money. You, the parent, are the first and the most crucial link in that learning process.
[In this case, the most crucial link may be the mentor!]
March 26, 2010