Take Your Kids to Work Day is coming up on April 22nd, and as always, it’s not only an excellent opportunity for your kids to see what you do every day but also for teaching kids to save money. For many of us, the only difference is that our kids have been around our work—in our home offices, the background noise of Zoom calls, etc.—for all of last year as the pandemic forced workers home.
My four-part educational system for bringing together the worlds of kids and money fits perfectly into a holiday that brings them into the working world for a day. I’ll go over each of the four parts (Delay It, Play It, Say It, Display It) and give you some ideas for how to tailor activities to Take Your Kids to Work Day.
The most critical part of Take Your Kids to Work Day is Display It because your kids will be there watching you and your actions, but don’t pass up the others.
Say It, Display It
When your kids see you working hard for your money, they’ll pick up valuable lessons from watching their role model. On Take Your Kids to Work Day, try to bring your kids into it by explaining what you’re doing and why it’s important.
Using the holiday as an opportunity to get your kids off of their computers and iPads will get your kids to pay attention to what you’re doing and how it affects their lives. You should reward them by modeling good behaviors at work while they’re watching and showing interest in being involved.
Finally, you can use your captive audience on the holiday to deliver the financial lessons you have on your mind. Kids are more intelligent than we think, and there’s not as great a distance between kids and money topics as we might believe. In fact, a study found that money habits are formed by the age of 7.
Delay It, Play It
Going without immediate satisfaction for the future is difficult for adults and kids alike, but it is the cornerstone of saving money. The truth is that the adults who’re best at this crucial behavior usually started getting used to it when they were children. You’re doing your kids a favor if you teach them to perfect this skill.
When you take your daughters and sons to work, there will be many opportunities to get this message across. Saying something like, “we can go out for ice cream later, but right now we have to work” helps kids realize that good things come to those who wait.
Usually, I say that games are a good way to teach kids about money, but this way of teaching kids about money isn’t the best fit for Take Your Kids to Work Day, considering you will still be working and unable to fully commit to a game.
Rather than viewing this year’s Take Your Kids to Work Day as a continuation of the same routine, I’d urge you to use it as an opportunity to change the way we’ve all been living and start developing your kids and money-making skills that they’ll learn from you.