Money is something that most people avoid talking about, yet for all of us it’s a part of nearly every moment of everyday. Can I buy that? Have I got enough? I want this. Particularly as parents, you’re not only worrying about your own money but getting it right with your children as well.
I spend a lot of time thinking, with parents, about how to best equip children to be confident with money, mainly because too often it becomes a source of conflict between them. I am not sure that schools and the curriculum are effectively tackling this issue. Too often, educational resources use money as a way of teaching mental mathematics or problem solving but this doesn’t teach children how to use money in the real world.
Children are practical, visual learners who need to learn by doing and in a way that reflects how they see the adults in their world, especially their parents, using money. If you think how much the world has changed, you can appreciate how far kids have been left behind when it comes to managing their money. There’s no point talking to them about cash, or popping into a bank, when all they see is their parent using a plastic card or the computer. In fact at the moment, the closest thing that kids have to understanding how money is really used in today’s world is their preloaded school dinner card or a travel oyster card.
The worry for me is that children don’t have access to any of the tools that adults regularly use to manage their money. Tools that are invaluable in the modern digital age. Tools that are relevant for how children live today. Tools that are appropriate for how children think and learn.
This is why there is such a need for the arrival of the next generation of tools for kids to use and manage their own money — we simply need pocket money for a digital age.