Children need a lot of guidance from their parents to grow up to responsible adults. This should not be left until they are old because then they can choose whether to listen to you or not. If you want your child to be an independent and accountable person you should ensure that you teach them wrong from right when they are still at their tender age.
Teaching your child to be financially savvy
The minute your child can comprehend that money buys things and a certain amount can buy this and that then that’s when you start teaching them about money. You shouldn’t give them money every time they ask for it; make it clear that they should earn their money and this could be achieved by rewarding them for good behaviour or doing small chores.
Have charts and visuals, something they can go back to when they don’t understand unlike leaving it to just conversation. If they want something small make them save up for it, and because they won’t be able to save up to hundreds of rands introduce the word “interest” that for every rand they save you will match it up with a certain amount or if they save up to a certain amount you add on the difference so they can buy what they were saving up for.
To teach them discipline with money you should sometimes not dictate to them when and how they should spend their saved money. If they have friends and they decide to impress them by buying them sweets with all their save-up money let them. They will learn from experience that they should be disciplined; let them experience the consequences of being careless with money so in the future they will think before spending.
Teaching your child wrong from right
Children are explorers; they touch, poke and say a lot of things just to see the reaction, this is not because they are mischievous, that is how they learn. When you want to let your child to know good and bad behaviour you should be consistent with everything. Don’t parent your child out of your current mood, where if they do something bad when you are in a bad mood you punish them but when you are in the good mood you laugh about it.
Praise their good behaviour, it could be through rewards or just words, hugs and applauds. This will be clear to them that what they have just done is good and will be encourage to continue with the behaviour. Punish them for bad behaviour but make sure you first warn them; in the warning tell them what is it that you are warning them against and the consequences that will follow should they persist with the behaviour. If they continue with the behaviour you can go ahead with the punishment. It could be time out, taking their favourate toy or depriving them of various things like television time.
Teaching your child to trust in their choices
We want to raise children that will be able to dream and fulfill their dreams. I know a lot of parents who are guilty of trying to live or correct their past through their children. Introduce to them various things; don’t let them be accustomed to certain things because that’s what they have grown to know. Introduce creative and technical things to their young lives; should they want to pursue one over the other don’t fight it.
Let them know what would be expected from them and give them guidelines, be honest to them on what they will be required to do to reach whatever they want. Don’t guilt-trip them into playing a piano or going into athletics because this has been done in your family from one generation to another. After all you want your child to be happy and fulfilled as oppose to fitting in and bitter. Remember parents, your child is his/her own person; even though we brought them to earth they have their own purpose in life.