Money

Here's the No. 1 mistake parents make when teaching their kids about money

You teach them manners, how to tie their shoes, and how to ride a bike. But how can you really teach your kids the value of a dollar?

At Miami's eMerge conference in June, Suze Orman was asked the best way to help children learn about finances. The personal finance expert and former CNBC host says the answer is simple: Show, don't tell.

Demonstrate to your kids how to value money by valuing it yourself, she says. If you tell your children they have to work hard, save their cash and buy things only when they both need to and can afford to, you have to model that behavior, too. Otherwise the lessons won't stick.

If they see you buying brand new gadgets and brand new cars, they're going to follow your lead.

"Your kids don't do what you say. They do what you do," says Orman.

Beth Kobliner, author of the book "Make Your Kid A Money Genius," suggests the same approach.

Kobliner says that, since using visuals that can help all children, and young kids especially, learn to think wisely about even a few bucks, she recommends having your kids divide their cash into three jars: one for saving, one for spending and one for giving. The giving jar will help kids better understand about the inequalities of the world around them, she says.

For the same reason, Orman says she encourages parents to say no to their kids sometimes, even if you can afford to say yes. That will help you make sure your children don't grow up thinking they can have whatever they want whenever they want it.

Kobliner has a similar money rule: Learn to wait.

"You wait for the swings, you wait for your birthday," Kobliner tells The Washington Post. "You need to wait and save up for something you want. Waiting and being able to delay gratification is one of the most important lessons kids can learn about money and in life."

"You have to show them by example," Orman explained at the eMerge conference. "Give them values, give them love, and give them education on how money really works."

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