3 ways to make prosperity come easier for your children.
Parents all worry about their kids.
Will my children be happy? Will they be provided for? Will they be successful?
Recently, people at our office have been talking about these questions. Do you wonder if you’re setting your kids up for a successful, happy life?
Every family is different, but our team members have shared some interesting information – including fascinating research – that could help make life easier and happier for parents and kids:
Get your kids busy at home
Recent research shows that chores at home are a critical part of raising well-balanced grown-ups.
Marty Rossmann, an emeritus associate professor of family education, is studying young adults and their family lives when growing up. Taking a group of people who’ve entered their 20’s, her study examines parenting styles, gender, types of household tasks, time spent on tasks, and attitudes.
She also studies the same young people’s stability and ‘success’ based on items like completion of education, starting a career path, IQ, relationships with family and friends, and not using drugs.
What’s the #1 predictor of kids becoming successful, well-adjusted adults?
Professor Rossman’s answer is surprisingly simple: Chores. Kids who started doing family chores at age 3 to 4 are more likely to be successful and happy when they reach their 20s.
Another surprising result of her study: Kids who didn’t start doing chores until age 15 or 16 actually did worse later on.
- The University of Minnesota has more details about this research.
- ABC News (US) on Raising Responsible Children.
“Piggy bank basics”
Young people who learn about earning and saving money early-on have huge advantages in life: The things they want come easier. They take hold of simple attitudes and behaviours that help them getting ahead.
Below are some good websites on teaching your kids about money.
- From ASIC – the MoneySmart website
- From the Commonwealth Bank – Teaching your kids about money
- Radio National ‘Life Matters’ radio program (and podcast) about Kids and Cash
(By the way, we noticed a few ‘profiteers’ and dodgy websites when we search online about kids and money – be careful that any new sites you find are from credible, safe sources like those above.)
A bit of smart saving
It is amazing how just a little bit of saving, starting when each child is born, can provide an education advantage for your children. If you can save $100/month, by the time your kids are at university-age, you’ll be able to give them a real boost. If you can save more than that – you might be able to pay for a university degree.
For young people getting started in their careers, education costs can really slow-down their independence and success. And the Government is making education more expensive for young people. What will it cost in another eighteen years?!
Saving for your kids’ education helps erase those worries. When you start saving, there are a lot of options and some possible tax breaks as well.
- Choice.com.au has an interesting guide to saving for your children’s education.
- If you look on Google for “education savings plans” you’ll find additional information.
Do your homework carefully before you get started – but here’s the most important thing: Just starting is the hard part – once the savings habit is started, most people don’t even notice the difference. However, if you put off education savings for a year, the final amount is much lower. Even if you can only afford a little bit to start with – get started!