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Is it Time for “THE TALK”?

When your child hits their teens it may be necessary to talk with your child about money because teens have more financial independence. However, research suggest that parents should begin talking about money with their child when they are 3 or 4.  In “Children and Money” researchers state that, “As soon as your youngster can understand the transaction involved in buying a lollipop, the child is ready for an explanation about money, “(Turner, Torres and Mitchell, 2003).

Once your child is ready, how do you start the talk?  Simply engage youth in conversations about money as they come up in everyday life.  Some examples of everyday opportunities to discuss money with your child include when:

  1. You are shopping at a store
  2. You are planning activities for the weekend
  3. When your child asks to participate in an activity that cost money or gas
  4. When your child expresses they need an item that is really just something they want
  5. When you talk with your child about your job

Don’t forget, while “the talk” is import your child/children also learn about money through a process researchers call socialization.  Besides talking parents can influence their child/children’s attitudes about money through:

  • Children observing parent’s financial behaviors and modeling parent’s actions
  • The environments in which children are placed (Has your child accompanied you to your financial institution?)
  • Reward and punishments (How you handle it when your child miss manages his/her money?)


For more information on talking with your child about money and what to do to reinforce the ideas that you discuss check out these publications:

Pankow, D. (N.D.). “Talking to Children about Money.” Retrieved 26 February 2014 from

Torres, N., Mitchell, V. and Turner, J. (2013).  “Children and Money.” Retrieved 26 February 2014 from