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Teach your kids to be independent

11 September 2017

By Francisco J. Colayco

We had an interesting exchange of stories with the administrator-owner of an excellent progressive school in Northern Luzon about how students really need money management skills from an early age.  The world today is so much more faster-paced and competitive than say 10-20 years ago.  A school graduate is immediately faced with a more complex world and if he is not properly educated on money management, he would end up completely dependent on his parents.  Or worse, he might end up accepting that his parents and siblings should be dependent on him.

The role of parents in this early personal financial education process is very important.  In fact, the children will always look at their parents as their role model.  For example, the case of an Indian child was brought up.  He was already offering services such as “travel agency” and “beautiful shawls” to his teacher at a very early age at Grade 4.  He even had his own business card.  Obviously, he was following the example of his parents and that training did not come from the school.

Perhaps, Asian children are more adept when it comes to a “business” perspective because they have more opportunities than their Western counterparts.  Just notice the street children.  At a very early age, they already know how to market and sell whatever they have.  Even their begging is really a marketing effort.  They know how to say the right things to encourage generosity.  Of course, their elders probably taught them but I think each child who ventures into selling (or even begging) has his own style that comes from his personality.

What stood out in our discussion is how students seem to be more dependent on their parents even after they graduate from school.  There are cases when the graduates expect their parents to find jobs for them or speak to their boss for them.  On the other hand, there also cases where the parents dictate where the salaries of the graduates in their new jobs will go.  Usually, it goes to help the siblings for their own education and/or for the parents needs.

Perhaps, if students had more training on critical thinking, they would be better equipped to face life.  They must be trained to analyze and to pick out the key issues in any situation that faces them.  As such, they can establish their options and choose the best decision.  While there are various ways of teaching critical thinking, I think that a formal training in personal money management is a good exercise in teaching critical thinking.  I hope that schools will soon consider this training for all their students before they graduate.  The earlier they start with the youngest students, the better the chances of a lifelong inculcation of good values.

Visit our website, www.colaycofinancialeducation. com.   Note that the website is evolving and there will be changes in the coming months.

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