A recent poll has found that parents and kids have differing views on the impact of the recession on families. Nearly half of adults over the age of 18 said that the turbulent economy has brought their families closer together, while only 27 percent of those under 18 years old agreed.
"Mom and dad think they’re connecting with their kids about money, yet their children say little has changed," said Northwestern Mutual Senior Vice President Meridee Maynard. "Kids can learn great lessons from this tough economy, but they need guidance, and that’s where the parents come in."
Teaching kids about managing a household budget is important to start at a young age. Parents should seize opportunities to discuss smart money decisions with their children and model good financial behavior.
Maynard says fathers should involve their kids in smart shopping by teaching them to wait for sales and paying with cash instead of credit cards when possible.
Showing your kids how you pay the bills can help them learn about money as well. Explain why the electric bill was so high during a certain month and come up with strategies to save going forward.
Involving the whole family in big purchase decisions can be an important lesson about prudent spending as well.