Every year, those of us in the financial literacy sector wait in anticipation for April to begin. Why? Well, this is the month set aside by the calendar gods for “financial literacy month,” of course! Usually, it’s usually a lighthearted celebration of saving, investing, and budgeting. What’s not to love, right?
This year, financial literacy month comes at a moment of crisis for our country and our world. Coronavirus has gripped our attention, changed our daily lives, and for many of us, depleted our bank accounts.
Just months after it seemed the economy couldn’t get any better, our assumptions were shown to be all too true. So today, as we ring in financial literacy month, we double-down on the original intent of this blog: to foster conversations about money between you and your kids. This month, there are three topics most of us would be wise to discuss with our kids: fear, scarcity, and hope for the future.
Talk About Fear
Fear is a powerful emotion. Part of it is healthy, as our infectious disease doctors are quick to point out amidst our current health pandemic. We all need a reasonable amount of fear to keep us from being foolish. Fear of getting sick—or making others sick—is what motivates us to wash our hands and adhere to social distancing guidelines. But the other side of fear—the crippling one—can sap our energy and hurt our productivity. As sobering news fills the airwaves, it’s understandable that fear is widespread. So what should one do with it? Talk about it. Sit down with your kids and shine some light on the things they’re fearing most. Then rather than say, “that will never happen,” talk about how you would manage it if it did.
Talk About Scarcity
One of the primary fears gripping our world today other than health is scarcity. Word of a recession (or worse) is circulating daily. Unemployment numbers are expected to continue climbing. For kids, the possibility of mom or dad losing their job can feel overwhelming. It’s important to communicate how you would handle whatever comes. Explain how unemployment insurance works, and how losing a job amidst this pandemic doesn’t mean you’d lose everything. Talk about how tightening the grocery budget isn’t a sign that food may run out, but an action that means it won’t. Rather than assume our actions and perspectives are translating to our kids, it’s vital that we open up lines of communication to erase any unrealistic concerns.
Talk About Hope
Finally, amidst all the fear and worry, it’s imperative that we lift our gaze from the sobering news for a moment to consider the future. Talk to your kids about their dreams. Continue to engage with their hopes for college and careers. Keep up the chitchat about impressive inventions, space exploitation, and cutting-edge technology. Because even as the present feels dim, the future is bright.
Whether our current crisis finds you homeschooling your kids for the first time or teaching students in a classroom for the twentieth year, our resources are here for you. Download our free lesson plans, watch our videos, and find inspiration from young entrepreneurs who’ve turned their dreams into reality.