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Jim Cramer loves the public school system, but the truth is that it cannot be relied upon to teach children about money.
"If you want your children to become fluent in the language of finance, you are going to have to do it yourself," the "Mad Money" host said.
That means not waiting until after kids go to college to teach them about financial literacy. Once kids go to college, they will be bombarded by credit card offers that could seem irresistible. Credit-card debt on top of student loans could send someone into debt for decades.
"In my view, the best way to make all of this dull personal finance medicine go down is with a spoonful of stock-picking sugar," Cramer said.
Cramer started with the recommendation that parents give their children the gift of stock in a high-quality company that resonates with younger people. One option is Disney, he said, which has blockbuster movie franchises like "Frozen" and "Star Wars" under its belt.
The point of getting children interested in stocks early is to have parents instill a better way to think about money. Rather than viewing cash as something to be spent, Cramer wants children to learn that money is something that can be saved and invested to create more money.
"If you don't want to do this for your children, do it for yourself, because kids who can manage their own finances are kids who won't be begging you for moolah even after you have gone into retirement," Cramer said.
Questions for Cramer?
Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC
Questions, comments, suggestions for the "Mad Money" website? firstname.lastname@example.org