Most parents would say that a major goal for their children in the long run is for them to become productive members of society. But how do we get there today when that seems so far off? With the ever-increasing pressures life and child rearing, it can be overwhelming.
As we are raising our children to become responsible, independent, mindful adults, it is great to have small, incremental goals in mind along the journey. As your children reach the age of 10, here are some benchmarks that are important for your children to understand. If they don’t know them now, these are some ideas you can work on in your home with your children.
- Their Address and Your Phone Number: If your child ever gets lost or separated, this is important information they should know. If they were to wander off from you in a public area, it’s important that they know your phone number in order to reach you. Also, knowing their address is important. In our digital age where our names are plugged into our phones, often we don’t actually know phone numbers anymore. It’s important that if they get separated, lose their phone, etc. that they know this information by memory. They should know basic information about the local authorities like police officers, fire fighters, and how to tell them they are lost and that they need help.
- Manners: They still go a long way, even in 2017! Not only please and thank you, but saying excuse me and not interrupting mom and dad in the middle of a conversation is a great start to interacting with others. Manners are a gate-way to consideration of others, having empathy and being a courteous member of society. Writing thank you notes is a lost art but is still much appreciated by those who give your child gifts. It is not only courteous but it reminds our kids to be grateful for what they have and to those who made it possible.
- Being helpful: This is a great addition to manners. By age ten, kids should be a little bit more aware of their surroundings. For example, holding the door as they exit a building so it doesn’t bang into the person behind them, bringing their plate to the kitchen sink after a meal at home and in general cleaning up after themselves in their rooms. This helps them to understand how to take care of themselves independently. In just 7 or 8 short years they will be required to do everything on their own. Also, by taking care of their own hygiene, organizing their room and other tasks of the like, they will more fully understand how to think beyond themselves, impacting others in a positive way.
- Chores: Believe it or not, if your 10 year old isn’t doing a long list of chores yet, know that they are capable of a lot and will enjoy being given some responsibility. Being a productive member of society begins with being a productive and contributing member of the family at home. It’s easy for parents to just do the work for them so you can get it done quickly, especially when we are tired and just want to be done. But asking your child to do it and giving them room for learning, teaches them the value of work and serving each other. Here are some helpful chores your ten year old can do at home:
- Make beds
- Wash sinks
- Fold laundry
- Set the table for dinner
- Help with meal prep
- Clean the bathroom
- Dust furniture
- Sort laundry
- Start simple loads of laundry like towels
- Sweep and mop floors
- Put away clothes
- Clean mirrors or French doors
- Walk and clean up after the family pet
A great way to organize this is to set up a daily chore chart that outlines what chore(s) they are responsible for each day. If you want to start an allowance, you can pay them what works within your budget. By age ten, children should understand that there is a “pay day” – in other words, you don’t need to pay your child right away when they complete their chore. If “pay day” in your house is Sunday night, then your child can work each day doing their specific chores and then receive payment on that specified day.
- Financial Terms: Forbes.com suggests there are a few important financial terms that are important. Having a basic understanding of these terms will help your kids to start understanding the basic principles of how money works in the real world.
- Interest – money you are paid for lending your money or an amount of money that is added to money you borrowed
- Loan – money that’s borrowed and is expected to be repaid, usually with added interest
- Time Horizon – the amount of time that you will save for a big purchase
- Inflation – a general increase in the price of goods and services over time
- Taxes– money that we pay to the government to help pay for public programs and necessities.
- Saving: When your child receives an allowance, it’s important to start teaching them to save. This means that they are learning the general concept of how money is to be used as they get older and will have more of it. Saving a percentage is wise, as we all know, for emergencies and for the future. Encourage your child to start this discipline at an early age.
“The bigger the pile of cash you have the less you have to think about money. And the less you have to think about money the more you can concentrate on the things that matter.”
– Dave Ramsey
- Giving: Giving is an important part of stepping outside of yourself and helping others who are in need. Whether your child gives to your church or a specific charity, it’s important that they are able to show generosity. Yet another discipline and heart attitude that needs attention, starting this routine at an early age encourages responsibility and forethought as they grow into adults.
- Spending: And finally, the really fun thing we get to do with money – spend it! Let them spend some of that hard earned money! They should be able to enjoy the fruit of their labor, especially as they are forming their thoughts on work and money. Your child should learn the disciplines of saving and giving, but they should also be encouraged to reap the benefits of their work, which of course puts a great emphasis on the desire to work. It always feels good when we’ve worked hard and get to have something to show for it.
A critical mission for Surety Bank is to bring financial literacy to the children of our community. If you would like to look into getting more information for educating your child around the topic of money, reach out to us and we’ll be glad to help.
If you are looking for a checking account or savings vehicle for your child, please contact us here: (386) 734-1647