Do’s & Don’ts of Money Wise Parents

Swapna Mirashi
Parental behaviour with the child and in front of her has a significant influence on how the child shapes up. This is particularly visible in case of her attitude towards money. Here is a gentle reminder – a few dos and don’ts to influence a healthy financial attitude in your child.

  1. Inculcate in yourself, the financial values that you wish to instil in your child.
  2. Show (don’t tell) what money principles you want her to adopt and practice, by practicing them yourselves in your day to day actions.
  3. Involve your child in decision making especially while buying gifts for her friends or grandparents and demonstrate how a wise purchase decision is made
  4. Be prepared with your plan of action to intelligently face pester power (it is bound to strike you some day, if it has not already) – being proactive is the only way to counter this enemy of parents and of children. Humour works very effectively. Watch the Vicks ad mentioned below.
  5. While dealing with demands from your child always balance it out – don’t always give in but don’t always sound negative.
  6. Do involve her in some basic household financial discussions    
  7. If you have teenager consider talking about credit cards and their prudent use as, very soon she may have access to one – if she already doesn’t have one. (it’s as important a discussion point today as career/future education/ love or sex)
  8. From a relevant scene in TV program/advertisements bring about casually what you consider as good/bad money behaviour – children learn it better through a neutral example rather than their own.


  1. Never preach what you do not practice
  2. Never use the words ‘we cannot afford it’ with your child
  3. Don’t encourage instant gratification.
  4. Don’t buy everything that your child demands, even if you can afford it
  5. Do not get your child expensive gifts just because other parents do so
  6. Do not encourage material comparisons and competitions between siblings/friends – ‘he has this and I don’t’, ‘you will have a more expensive birthday/holiday’
  7. Don’t use material things to make up with your child
  8. Don’t value a gift that your child receives from friends based on the price tag
  9. Also don’t buy gifts for others just by looking at the price tag
  10. Don’t boast of how much you earn or how rich you are in front of your child
  11. Don’t ignore personal finance education for your child – it is an important life skill education today.

Looking for some ideas for defense against pester power? – Watch this piece (No commercial interest here, used only for demonstration purpose to show Humor in Parenting in action)