Planting a Money Tree: BMO SmartSteps for Parents

Photography from D. Sharon Pruitt via Flickr (CC)

For some parents, there is a conversation scarier than the sex talk. Scarier than giving their child their first car. Scarier than letting them walk to school on their own for the first time. This conversation is about diving into the financial unknown when it comes to creating a dialogue with their children about MONEY. Money doesn’t grow on trees (as my mother used to tell me, and I later discovered to my own shock and dismay), but you can plant the seeds of smart financial management in your children at a young age, which will grow to be more useful to them later on.

Yesterday, BMO Bank of Montreal launched SmartSteps for Parents, an interactive financial management gateway to help parents teach their children about being smart with money. BMO polled over 1000 families from Feb 2 to 10 this year and discovered that just over half of Canadian parents have talked to their kids about household finances and just over a third believe their children wouldn’t be able to grasp the concept of basic money management. A breakdown of the website is described in a press release from MarketWire.com. Parents have access to financial and parenting experts, and other parents through a community blog, as well as interactive games and activities geared towards children between 5 and 15 years of age, broken into ages and stages categories (just like the Ages and Stages categories on Canadian Family). Using the method of “show, talk, do,” and videos of how real families manage their money, the site boasts a healthy balance between the telling you how to “Make Money Make Sense” and showing it in action. Happy Saving!

How do you teach your kids about money? What works and what doesn’t?

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