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Parents and kids and money

As parents, we understand the importance of literacy. We sit for hours reading with our children. However, children must be “literate” about money matters, too.

Learning how to think about money and manage it wisely is an equally important life skill. We must patiently help our kids “sound out” the many ways to control money. Our kids will learn by doing. Some lessons will be thrilling. Others will be frustrating, even painful.

In the end, we hope that our children will grow into financially responsible adults. The rewards are life-altering: living within their means, free from the anxieties of debt, and secure in their future.

This section will give you tips and tools for teaching money literacy – and help you assess your ability to model good financial habits. Read on!

Just for Moms

The “Tipping” Point: Teaching Your Child the Fine Art of Gratuities

Next time you're at a restaurant or receive some other service involving a gratuity, you may want to use it as an opportunity to have the “tipping talk” with your child. After all, it is an important part of our culture and is relevant in social and professional situations. The following are some tips (pun intended J):

– Set the context with how tipping came into existence with the historical background.

– While there is no “one size fits all guide” to all the occasions that may require a tip, highlight some examples where tipping is common like restaurants, taxis, deliveries, personal services, etc.

When – Explain that tipping is not mandatory and the point is reward great service. It could be useful to mention that if you're tipping someone your visit regularly (like a barber), good tipping can make you a valued customer and create an incentive for consistently great care.

How much – Clearly, that will vary depending on the occasion and cost, but you may want to provide a few general guidelines, i.e., 15% or 20% of a restaurant bill or a taxi fare. This is a great opportunity to get in extra math practice; ask your child to calculate a suggested tip.