Talking about family finances
Children under the age of 11 learn most about money from their parents. So it’s funny how 58% of parents say they find it difficult to talk to their children about money. It’s a pressing problem and with one in five 18-24 year olds finding themselves in serious financial difficulties, one that needs addressing.
Get Set is a financial wellbeing project for parents of primary-school aged children in Islington set up by Quaker Social Action. Its aim is to strengthen the relationship between parents and children over money matters. Children at that age learn by what they see their parents do and by what they are shown. So it’s important that parents can model good financial behaviour and have the knowledge to answer their children’s questions.
The course works by building people’s confidence in three ways: recognising their existing skills; having a solid understanding of key financial concepts; and having the confidence to share the difficult feelings and thoughts that arise when dealing with children’s demands. The workshops bring parents together through activities and discussions.
The workshops get parents to recognise what they are doing well and share those ideas. When it comes to household finances a group of parents will have most of the answers between them. Parents are encouraged to think critically about their own behaviour and what they would like to pass on to their children. There are easy-to-understand activities that help increase people’s knowledge and demystify some of the financial concepts and processes like credit and debt.
It’s hard to deal with the guilt of having to say no to a child or the anxiety that arises from not being able to do all you want. So time is taken to discuss the difficult feelings and thoughts that arise when dealing with children’s demands. Sharing these thoughts has helped parents understand and accept.
Every person is different. So the course includes the unique opportunity to have up to three one-to-one coaching sessions. Many people know what they need to do to get their finances under control. They also need a little push to put those ideas into practice. The coaching encourages each person to come up with their own plan of action and make change a reality.