4 parenting mistakes that hurt your child’s life skills and money smarts

November 02, 2017
  • When you give your kids the best of everything
    1 / 4 When you give your kids the best of everything

    When it comes to our kids, it makes sense that we want the best for them.

    The whole point of why we slave away at our jobs everyday is to provide our kids with everything they need.

    But when we choose to buy them that pair of Adidas sneakers instead of the cheaper ones at the neighbourhood shops, your kid might not process this choice the same way:

    You’re thinking: Oh wow, these Adidas sneakers not bad ah.

    The rubber soles thick enough, sponge-y enough, and got option for flat-foot also.

    Buy this better so baby’s developing feet won’t get injured when he’s learning to walk and run.

    Your little one’s thinking: Daddy bought me this pair of shoes instead of the ones I saw at the wet market.

    This pair came from a nice shop. This pair is more expensive.

    So everything that comes from a nice shop and is expensive must be better.

    Also, Daddy, I’m not a baby. I’m six years old. I’ve been walking for four years now.

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  • When you find ways and means to motivate them to study hard
    2 / 4 When you find ways and means to motivate them to study hard

    All Singaporean parents want their kids to do well.

    So we turn into tiger moms and drill them to study.

    And when that doesn’t work, we use incentives like cash or rewards to motivate them to score well.

    Nothing wrong with that right? In the real world, you get rewarded for results!

    …Except you wouldn’t want your kid to grow up too reliant on external motivation.

    Because in the workplace, hard work doesn’t always lead to results, and you don’t always get paid what you think you deserve.

    If your child’s reasons for working hard is always tied to some form of reward, they may fail to see the bigger picture.

    That self-motivation is what will help you succeed in life, with or without monetary reward.

    Good parenting means making sure your child doesn’t equate success with drowning in material goods.

    Related: How much pocket money should you give?

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  • When you forbid your kids to start work young so they can concentrate on their studies
    3 / 4 When you forbid your kids to start work young so they can concentrate on their studies

    You stop your kids from taking up that part-time job or internship fearing that they’ll be too drained of energy to focus on their studies.

    You want them to get plenty of rest, and have as much time as possible to prepare for their exams.

    You’d rather be the one to provide them with all the resources they need to get into the local universities so they don’t have to worry about money.

    So gap years, internships and part-time jobs are out of the question.

    Sometimes, even when they’re organized by the school!

    But do not forget; Your kid may not necessarily use his free time productively.

    Teenagers often waste their free time on gaming, going out, even engaging in BGRs!

    Freeing up their time may not lead to the results you hope for.

    What’s more, your child’s teenage years are a period with intense peer pressure.

    Your kid will not only be asking for a laptop, facial products, dermatologist visits for cystic breakouts.

    But they’ll also be demanding pocket money to pay for things that will help them fit in with their friends, like clothes and cafes.

    Good parenting means letting them get a taste of work while they’re younger and helping them better learn the value of money.

    Most importantly, they get to learn more about themselves in the process.

    How are they supposed to pick their specialisation for their degree in the future if they don’t know what industry they’ll excel in?

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  • Helping your kids manage their finances
    4 / 4 Helping your kids manage their finances

    What started out as good intentions to help your kid save for university when they were young, turned into managing your kid’s finances even when they’re already working adults.

    Why? Because you want to ensure your kid doesn’t go into debt and has enough to pay for the wedding and the house… even before they’ve found a suitable partner.

    So you force your kids to give you a fixed portion of their income every month.

    But what you’re really doing is paying their bills and setting aside some savings for them.

    How you divide the amount, they do not know.

    All they know is, they get to spend whatever’s left in their bank accounts.

    This method is may be great in theory – you’ll be able to keep a grip on your kid’s spending and also ensure that they don’t mess up and miss paying their bills.

    But you might want to think of the long-term effects such practices might have on your kids’ money management habits.

    If someone else is always helping them pay their bills or set aside savings, will they ever be disciplined enough to do so on their own?

    Especially when they (hopefully) get married?

    I’m sure you’re planning to manage your kid’s finances even when they have their own families (which will probably lead to tension with their partners).

    Good parenting is letting your children learn how manage their money early.

    A version of this article first appeared on MoneySmart.

    (Photos: 123RF.com)

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