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Dr Elizabeth Kilbey reveals why it’s good to talk money with your children

Our research on 15-17 year olds revealed that giving your teens responsibility for their spending and outgoings, such as mobile phone bills and driving lessons, can help foster good financial behaviour.

But it’s not always easy to start off the conversation on money with your children. Here, child psychologist Dr Elizabeth Kilbey talks about why it’s important to do so, and why you could be the change your children need.

Do you find it tough to talk money?

Being a parent comes with a whole host of tough tasks and with it, tough conversations. 

But one topic that many parents find really hard to tackle is to talk about money.  And there are lots of reasons for that. 

Despite money being an integral part of everyday life, it is also a very personal and private subject and something that adults don’t often talk openly about. 

So if we aren’t talking about it to each other, how can we begin to introduce the topic of money to our children? 

Many parents feel that they don’t want to burden their children with such a grown up subject such as money.  That childhood should be a worry free time and ‘money’ and ‘worry free’ and words that rarely go together for most of us. 


Why you could be the change your children need

But I believe that ‘money’ and ‘confidence’ are two words that should definitely go together. 

Learning about money and how to use it in day to day life is a vital developmental task for all children.  And I want them to be able to do that confidently. 

And research shows that the best place for children to learn about money is at home. 

So how can parents put their own feelings or relationship with money to one side, and introduce this topic to their children in a way that empowers them and prepares them for a lifetime of money confidence?

It’s never too young to start.  Begin to make money and money transactions a visible part of everyday life.  Then, once children are familiar with watching you using money, it’s their turn to have a go.  Help them use money by themselves with your support, until they feel confident going solo. 

And finally, embrace technology.  Our children are digital natives, so use their skills and abilities with tech to help them learn about and manage money.

Do you have any tips of your own to add to Elizabeth’s?

This guest post is from Dr Elizabeth Kilbey and doesn’t necessarily reflect the views of the Money Advice Service.

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