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Marion Syversen Marion Syversen
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Kids and money

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Parenting is tough because we often feel inadequate, uncertain of how to best help this darling child whom we love more than life. We feel like we may be messing things up, as if there is a 'right answer' somewhere, but we don't know it. It can be quite a conundrum.

Teaching kids about money is a good example of how our desires to give the best to our babies are sometimes thwarted by our own fears and feelings on inadequacies. Perhaps, because of past mistakes, we feel as if we aren't in any position to guide, especially since we don't really feel like we know what we are doing even today about money.

I understand. For me it usually helps to find books, videos - some material that helps us help the darlings. I have done a bit of a search and found some sources that may make money understandable for us and the squirts.

My first ready source is The Federal Reserve. Made up of banks in various regions across the country,the Federal Reserve is the central bank of the United States tasked to manage monetary policy, regulate banks, maintain stability and contain risks of the financial system.

They also publish literature to educate adults. Some of their many publications are meant for policy folks and are very in-depth on aspects of money outside our interests. But some are for young kids. And they also publish a variety of resources for teachers and parents.

Listed in the library of available literature is a booklet from the St. Louis Fed bank called Kids and Money (http://www.stlouisfed.org/community_development/assets/pdf/kids_and_money.pdf). It includes ideas for conversations about budgets, saving and spending, as well as ideas for asking if situations on TV are realistic and other conversation starters.

From the same web site are videos and even interactive games, like a flash card system creatively called 'Personal Finance Flash Cards.' (http://www.stlouisfed.org/education_resources/personal-finance-flash-cards/)

The St. Louis Fed has printable materials, ways to filter for students grades k-4, 5-8, high school or college. Here is a link for an e-book for the littles called 'The Piggy Bank Primer' (http://www.stlouisfed.org/education_resources/the-piggy-bank-primer-budget-and-saving-ebook/) also available on iTunes.

In printable material, this link connects to 'My Money,' a 10-page student workbook: (http://www.richmondfed.org/publications/education/my_money/pdf/mmstudentworkbook.pdf). The book teaches about money, coins, salt and other commodities that were used before dollars were available. It asks how you would budget your money for various goods and services, like lunch. What would you buy and how would each decision affect your pocketbook?

Search the links, filter for your interests and the ages of your kids and see if these materials give a boost to your teaching prowess and the financial knowledge of your children. Whether you are a grandparent, teacher, parent or homeschooler these resources may bolster your confidence and enlighten your money talks.

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