Forget Facebook and Twitter, kids —start thinking about investing!

Today's generation of kids has been labeled the "me, me, me" generation. Let's face it: Today's technology fosters a culture of narcissism.

Our digital existence allows us constant access to the Web, text messaging, instant messaging, Facebook, Twitter and more. Young people are constantly tweeting, blogging and Snapchatting. So how can we flip the screen and get kids to pay more attention to the actual world around them?


Parent child financial education responsibility
Tatiana Gladskikh | Getty Images

We all know there is a plethora of global issues today—social, economic, environmental and political. Unfortunately, confronting them will take considerable time, financial resources and intelligence.

Making the effort today to teach our children personal financial responsibility along with social responsibility may go a long way toward both helping to solve worldwide problems in the long run and taking kids' focus off themselves.

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Working hard, respecting the value of money and learning to save are basic skills that you should instill in your children. However, as you teach your children the importance of financial independence, discuss how their wealth can positively impact others and, at the same time, deliver large dividends in terms of giving back and "paying it forward."

These two core teachings are interrelated. Consultant Jill Tipograph, founder and CEO of summer programs and teen/college enrichment coaching firm Everything Summer, teamed with me to compile a list of valuable tips on teaching kids about money, while also emphasizing the importance of giving.

1. Open the lines of communication. Discuss with your children what options they have when they receive a monetary gift or an allowance. Talk about the three S's: They may have a special purchase in mind to "spend" some of their cash on, but a portion should be put aside to "save" for a longer-term goal, and they should be encouraged to set aside something to "share" with a worthwhile cause of their choosing.

2. "We are family." Be sure your entire family attends family financial planning meetings. This will allow the kids to see how the family budget and other decisions are made. Also, listen to your children's opinions; they might have some really great thoughts and become more confident and interested in finances if they know they have a chance to participate.

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3. Budgeting basics. Teach your kids to identify financial goals, create a budget, track expenses and comparison-shop. Discuss creating a "needs vs. wants" list and consider having them start to put money away to use for personal shopping, summer experiences and more.

4. Keep information flowing. Take some time to explain how checking and savings accounts—as well as investments such as 401(k) plans, IRAs, stocks and bonds—work. Send the older kids newspaper articles, magazines and books that will be useful resources, but be careful to avoid information overload.

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5. Credit card conundrums. Stop credit card conundrums in their tracks. Help your kids get their first credit card and learn how to use it wisely. Discuss the importance of establishing and maintaining good credit, low interest rates and paying off balances quickly.

Start with a debit card where monthly allowances are deposited and children/teens are taught to manage their expenditures. This is great early training for college. Also, establish automatic limit alerts so that you are notified when withdrawals exceed pre-accepted spending levels. Be sure to discuss overspending when it occurs, as well as any charges for bounced checks.

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6. Charitable contributions. It is so important to include the kids in discussions around charitable contributions. Ask them if there is a particular cause they would like to support and if they would like to contribute a part of their allowance.

This teaches them to get actively involved from the beginning, and the causes that personally resonate with kids and teens are more likely to be the ones that they will continue to support. If a family has substantial resources and wants to start a donor-advised fund, the children can get involved by choosing the charities they would like to support.

7. Disney World or Paris? Discuss important expenses with the kids, such as the purchase of a new car, paying for summer programs and college, and planning a family vacation. Explain how allowances, the family budget and routine shopping all tie in to how these big-ticket items are purchased.

Tipograph believes that the best way to develop these traits may be through a camp or other summer experience, or a youth or religious group. She said kids are given a sense of "equality" when they participate in a community environment such as a summer camp. They are put into a diverse setting that is much different from home, making them realize they live in a global environment.

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Some of the causes popular among kids today include helping at food pantries and homeless shelters, organizing and supporting drives for ill children, helping out kids with disabilities or those in need of education, and rebuilding homes for displaced families.

Performing these good deeds with friends is considered fun and not a chore. Feelings of pride and accomplishment are taken back into the home, and kids will often expand the project in their own community.

"Some of the most important virtues for children to learn are those of empathy, compassion and giving back in a way that is meaningful." -Stacy Francis, president and CEO of Francis Financial

When older teens get involved in a team project where they live in modest or meager accommodations, they learn important lessons, such as getting along with others and living with less. This translates into greater life appreciation, especially for those of privilege.

Kids of all ages can be social entrepreneurs. Young children love to set up lemonade stands and create things to sell. Teens can fundraise (think car washes) or provide special services, such as dog walking, yard work, babysitting and tutoring—with proceeds from these efforts supporting favorite personal causes.

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Creating a start-up to benefit someone else can be the greatest reward you will ever get. Reaching out to peers to get involved will add to the excitement. Teens, and even preteens, can also attend summer programs that teach start-up social responsibility skills.

It's important not to feed into entitlement and to establish the difference between true needs and simple wants. For example, if your child asks for the newest iPhone, yet their current version works perfectly well, have them "earn the reward" by doing extra chores around the house or offering services to people in the community. It's a matter of delayed gratification. Think of being on a diet: If you want dessert but make yourself wait an hour, you will realize that you no longer want it.

—By Stacy Francis, special to CNBC.com. Francis is president and CEO of Francis Financial. Jill Tipograph, founder and CEO of summer programs and teen/college enrichment coaching firm Everything Summer, contributed to this report.