How to Talk to Your Kids About The Family’s Finances

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Parents are constantly fielding questions from their curious youngsters, many of which they can answer with ease: Why is the sky blue? Does Santa exist? Where did all the dinosaurs go? But the real challenge comes when kids start asking about the family’s finances.

Part of the issue stems from parents who are reluctant to talk to their children about anything related to money. Most parents say it’s easier to talk to their kids about drugs than about money, according to a 2012 survey published by T. Rowe Price. Those who do broach the subject have difficulty telling the truth: 77 percent said they are dishonest with their kids about money-related items, with 15 percent not telling the truth at least weekly.

Some parents may fear how their kids will handle what they say. Even answering a simple question, like “Are we rich or poor?” can have repercussions. Tell your children you’re rich, and they’ll think you can buy them anything they want. Tell them you’re poor, and they may feel guilty about how much they ate for dinner.

Other parents may think money isn’t fun to talk about with their kids. “When I would talk to my son about money, my stepmother would say, ‘You’re talking to him too much about money. Can’t he just be a kid?'” says Alan Wolan, the author of “Moneyology,” a book series for young children.

When he was growing¬†up, Wolan says, his parents would go into another room and speak in hushed tones when they talked about the family’s finances. Wolan, on the other hand, encourages his son to ask any money questions he has.

One question a child might ask a parent: “How much money do you make?” Brad Klontz, a clinical psychologist and director of research at H&R Block Dollars & Sense, which gives parents tips on how to talk to their children about money, says it’s best not to divulge the exact amount — unless you’re comfortable with the entire world knowing how much you make. “Kids aren’t good at keeping secrets,” he says. You’ll probably satisfy them by saying you make enough money to get by, since their curiosity likely derives from them wanting to know if the family is financially secure…

Read More: money.msn.com

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