A kid with a lemonade stand is cute and adorable. An adult with a career and steady income is the epitome of responsibility. How do we as parents help our sons bridge that gap? As parents, we bear the joyful burden of teaching our soon-to-be young men the life skills they will need in adulthood. After all, our real job as parents is to work our way out of a job, right? One of the ways you can do that is to teach and model financial responsibility. These tips can help you stop being your son’s personal ATM.
1. Teach teen boys how to create a budget. Sit down with your son and have an honest discussion of what weekly or monthly items they need and you can realistically afford with a little wiggle room added in.
2. Teach your son to stick to that budget. It can be tempting to hand over extra cash when that face you created looks pleadingly in your direction. Resist the temptation. An occasional rescue is okay. If your son consistently goes over budget, letting him sweat it out once or twice is a good idea.
3. Take your teenager to the bank and have them open their own checking account. It won’t be as easy to swipe their card at the ATM for every little whim as it is to swipe yours.
4. Teach him to add giving back into his budget. If you belong to a church, teach your son to tithe. If not, have him choose a charity to support. This will not only instill a lifelong habit of helping others, it will demonstrate the power of money to enrich lives.
5. Teach your child to save. Far too many adults live from one paycheck to the next. Teaching your child to save helps him learn to bridge that gap and avoid the feast or famine cycle.
6. Help your son find a job. A part time job that doesn’t interfere with school or other responsibilities can go a long way in teaching responsibility and accountability. Be careful not to fall into the its-my-money-I-can-spend-it-any-way-I-want cycle.
7. Teach your teen to contribute to where they live. No one can live rent-free outside of mom’s house. Teach this important ideal by requiring your teen to make regular contributions to your family even if it’s something as simple as treating you to pizza or burgers once a month.
8. The local fast food joint isn’t right for every teen. Help your teen discover ways to use their skills and hobbies to create their own income. Is your son an artist? Is he especially skilled in an academic area? Is he a collector? All of these are skills that easily translate into income opportunities.
9. Teach your son the importance of time management. You’ve surely heard that time is money. Learning to budget time appropriately is as important as learning to budget dollars and cents for your teen.
10. Teach your son to protect his money and himself. He should learn about identity theft and the damage it can do. Teach him to understand the importance of safeguarding not only his cash, but his ID, SNN, and ATM pins.
Giving your son a financial advantage early in life is a great way to open lines of communication, to teach him what it means to navigate the bigger world around him, and, as we stated above, to work your way out of the job of personal ATM. Successful parenting means turning your little angel into a productive grown man. I hope these tips help!
By: LaKena T. Dunham
IG, FB, and Periscope – @lakenadunham