Topic 1: Money Security

Unfortunately, there are bad people in the world, and money often brings out the ‘bad’ in people. You only need to watch the evening news to hear many stories about people breaking, entering, and stealing from others. If you have had something stolen from you, you will know about the pain it causes. You wonder how the person who stole from you could be so callous and cruel. The more the loss, the longer that pain lingers!

Kids have a natural trust of other people, and this makes them vulnerable to thieves and more experienced operators who do not have your kids’ best interests at heart.

Below are some ideas to help you teach this topic to your kids. Our goal is to continually work on building up a great library of ideas that all parents can have access to and contribute to, so try the ideas below and please share your experiences and your ideas for this (or any other topic) by joining the Kids-n-Money Facebook group and sharing there. There is a link to the group at the bottom of this page.

Up to Mid Primary School Years:

1. Story books often have ‘bad guys’ who steal from or hurt others. Look for opportunities to use the characters in story books to warn your young kids about the risks that ‘bad guys’ might pose to them. Point out that money is something that ‘bad guys’ want to steal, so they need to keep their pocket money out of sight where bad guys can’t see it.

2. Explain that Mummy and Daddy put their money in the bank to keep it safe from ‘bad guys’ and that a money box is a child’s version of the bank. When the money box is full you will open a bank account for them to deposit the money into.

3. Know appropriate and effective ways to keep valuables safe.

Upper Primary School Years:

1. Stay alert, looking for opportunities that may present themselves through life experiences to teach this topic, e.g. if a friend at school has their lunch money stolen you have the perfect opportunity to discuss Money Security.

  • How might this child have avoided the theft?
  • Did they do something that contributed to the theft?
  • What was the consequence of the theft?
  • What can your child do to ensure this does not happen to them?

Of course if they or your family are the victim of a theft, then it will be even easier to have these discussions.

2. Ongoing reminders of the need to be discreet with money when at school or out and about.

Lower High School Years:

By high school age your kids will certainly be aware of crime and theft and basic principles of how to avoid it, however the simple theft of money or some item of value from a school bag is just the tip of the iceberg.

Crime gets more complex and as your kids get older their understanding of more complex things increases so you need to continue their Money Security Education.

Your teenage kids need to become aware of scams and swindles and other crimes that seek to steal money and items of value in a more complex way.

Of course money security does not always relate to avoiding criminal activity, but it also relates to doing due diligence before investing or allowing someone else to invest for you on your behalf.

1. As a parent you will quite possibly hear about how someone at work or in your community was tricked into giving money to a criminal who deceived them with a complex system of ‘smoke and mirrors’.

Whenever you hear of scams you should tell your kids what happened, so they come to understand the type of things to look out for themselves.

2. Whenever your kids are watching TV and advertisements come on, use the opportunity to critique the adverts and expose the fake urgency and the emotional hooks marketing people use to try and make a sale.

Infomercials and TV Shopping channels broadcast advertisements that are especially easy to critique. Point out the marketing tactics being used.

The emotional hooks you should easily be able to expose are:-

Vanity (You will look so cool in this dress or this car)

Fear (Bad guys will try to kick your doors down if you do not have this product)

Scarcity (Limited stocks available… until we open the next box)

Urgency (Hurry, we’re overstocked, but the sale ends on Saturday) Comfort (buy this and all your problems will go away)

Financial Benefit (You will save $10,000 if you spend $20,000 buying this car)

Pointing out the false claims and emotional hooks will help protect your kids to understand and recognise them when you are not around and save them from falling victim to this kind of marketing.

Upper High School Years:

By upper high school age your kids will know a lot more about life. Hopefully they will not have the attitude that they know everything they need to know, and your opinion is not important. If you have taken the time to nurture them in all of the topics relating to Kids-n-Money they should have a good respect for you and still be happy to listen to what you have to say.

Be aware that they are always listening, even if they are not willing to admit they are learning. A child, no matter what age, will benefit from a parent who often speaks out on matters of value and principle.

1. Ask your older teenage kids to tell you what they think they should be doing about money security now and after they leave home. What plans do they have?

2. Ask your kids if they have heard of any scams that are going around and discuss with them the details of any you are aware of.

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