Saturday April 20 2013

ON PARENTING :About children earning money

By Min Atek

I have been privileged to be teaching adults in the area of personal financial management for a number of years. Sadly, many of us have never been taught how to manage our money so we end up being in the dark on what to do. Some of us are lucky to be around people who know how to manage and it’s those habits that we pick and move along with.

I’m therefore continuously challenged over what kind of children I’m raising –financially dependent or independent?
Over the long Easter break my 10-year-old daughter wowed not only I her mummy but many of her extended relatives. Having a trading mother must have rubbed onto her because she offered to sell some of her mother’s merchandise. She was quite keen on the role and sold nine handbags in a space of three days.

She was not embarrassed and didn’t fear rejection from those she approached. Given that selling is still a challenging job for me, I decided to reward her by paying her a commission for every item sold and this must have encouraged her even more. As you can imagine ever since that day, each time we are through with doing school work and house chores, she quickly offers to sell some more items.

Although I was raised to be hardworking, I never really leant how to make or manage money at a young age; one of the reasons must have been that in my day, coming across money was in itself a challenge. I therefore find it totally fascinating that I’m able to teach my children how to make and manage money at a young age.

When it comes to the work at home, the children must and will be involved in work. Everyone cleans the house and lays their beds. We are slowly learning to cook and the value of creativity and independence cannot be over emphasised. That aside, I’m convinced children can learn and should be pushed to be creative thinkers and to earn money.

What better time to be empowered than when you are still young and before you make too many mistakes? I’m thinking that if I get my children to appreciate earning money and get them to be involved in my work and business, it will give them a much needed push and it might be the best investment I can give them because no one can ever take it away from them.