We need to teach our kids how to manage money (but we also need to teach them how to dream)

“We don’t need to teach our kids to code, we need to teach them how to dream”

This headline was taken from a recent article written for GQ by Tom Goodwin, EVP Head of Innovation at Zenith who poses some interesting concepts for parents to ponder. To summarize (although I suggest you take the time to read the article in full), Goodwin rightly states that life is becoming increasingly less predictable and, in view of that, what can we do to prepare our children for the future.

He writes “if we accept that the role of education is to furnish our children with the best understanding, skills and values for a prosperous and happy life, then how do we arm them for a future that we can’t imagine”? It is an interesting question and one that I have considered at great length.

In my book, The Ways of Managing Money Explained To Children, published in 2012, I wrote on a similar theme but, as a multi-millionaire and entrepreneur, my focus was more specifically on how to prepare children for their financial future which I am confident you will agree with me is essential for their survival and prosperity.

As parents we need to think responsibly how we want our children to grow and how we want to educate them starting from when they are very young, because what we transmit to them is the imprinting that they will carry with them their whole lives, make it easier for them to recognize their potential and give them a solid base for them to then take off and fly.

Goodwin speculates that it is impossible to know what skills will be needed and what jobs will exist in the future. So we need to be flexible to adapt to this changing world. I totally agree with his statement that “it’s imagination that drives everything. The greatest leverage that we’ve ever known is the power of an idea. We need to give paramount importance to creativity and ideas in the future”. But while I agree that ideas are important

I would extend that thought to implementation. Having a good idea and being creative is not enough anymore. We need to teach our children how to manage their finances and how to turn their creative ideas into successful businesses.

My ebook “KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATOR” : The Business Revolution starts from the entrepreneur’s mindset and the numbers of the company.

Goodwin further suggests that education in schools has not adapted to encompass these potential changes and that we need to prepare kids in a totally different way. For myself, as a self-made millionaire and father of two kids, I would argue that even in the past schools did not prepare children for the future because they did not provide education on financial matters. The advice that we received in the past instructions such as “go to a top school and get good marks” or “after graduating find a secure job and buy a house” are no longer valid. These things will not help our children in the future.

The goal of all parents is to have our children achieve their dreams. Although this seems to be a common desire among parents, in reality it is not easy for them to pass on the right lessons, particularly when it comes to money. The most difficult job is to equip children in life and help them grow healthily and happily, so that when they become adults, they know how to deal with life in a balanced way and are also knowledgeable about finances.

The potential development of the capacity of children to become autonomous and reach their dreams and aspirations is recognized. Inside the family nucleus children need to be given the first notions to offer them a solid base from which to start and to easily recognize their own potential.

Being clear how to use a few basic concepts is vital until our children are able to assimilate the fundamentals of a successful activity. Words like marketing, branding, checking inventory and profits can seem absurd at a young age.

But if they play and work together and have fun in creating their first activity, not only will they absorb these words but they will learn them and remember them for their whole life. The trick is to provide them with concrete business know-how and help them to develop their adaptability skills. It is not an easy task but for the sake of our children, isn’t it worth it?

To your financial freedom
Alfio Bardolla

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