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Archive for January, 2012

Orthodontist, Dr. Nathan Davis, Endorses

January 30th, 2012 - Category: Professional Endorsements

“As an orthodontist I recommend to help kids stay on track withtheir treatment so that we can create the perfect smile!”  Dr. Nathan Davis,  Nathan Davis Orthodontics,

Add orthodontic treatment to the daily chore list.  Your child checks it off when completed and earns points for a job well done.

The 3–Legged Stool of Financial Literacy

January 28th, 2012 - Category: Financial Literacy

If you have been involved with My Job Chart for a while, then you have come to appreciate our three main areas of focus: “saving, sharing and spending.” I call it a 3-legged stool.

Just for a moment, try to picture a 3-legged stool in your mind.  It generally has a flat round surface from which extend three legs, all the same length and all the same distance apart from each other. When properly built, a 3-legged stool works very well. It is stable, handy and dependable.

However, if one of the legs is missing or even broken, the stool is no longer able to support the weight of someone using it to sit on.  The integrity and usefulness of the stool is compromised. It’s interesting to note that the stability of the stool is also diminished if the lengths of the legs vary. Depending on how uneven they are, the stool may cease to be functional even though all three legs exist. The same is true in helping our kids learn about money and chores. It is not only important to teach our kids how to earn points (which can be redeemed for money, privileges, time with a parent, etc.) but it is equally important that we teach them how to handle what they have earned in terms of balanced and reasonable use of “saving, sharing and spending.”

The 3 legs supporting the stool of financial literacy are also “saving, sharing and spending.” These three “S” words are the Super Heroes of prosperity. When they are all in place and balanced, the stool is stable and functional. They are the pillars needed for a child to understand and experience financial literacy first hand.

Now, imagine a properly balanced 3-legged stool that has 3 support pieces of equal size placed in between the legs of the stool. Adding these 3 supports ensures long and successful use of the stool. I’d like to suggest that the supports consist of parents, training and experience, the very results of utilizing the 3-legged stool of financial literacy.

If parents are able to teach their kids about the proper use of money, focusing on “saving, sharing and spending,” and then allow them to experience the positive results of their efforts first-hand, the parent and child will have built a stool of financial literacy that will serve each of them well all of the days of their lives.

You will find many of the tools needed to teach these things to your children as you participate in our free, user-friendly, online chore chart and reward system at My Job Chart. Join the thousands of other parent who are teaching and motivating their kids to Save, Share and Spend responsibly.

So you want to raise a responsible child …

January 20th, 2012 - Category: Kids and Responsibility

You hear it all the time, “I just want my kids to be responsible.” What does that mean to you? Better yet, what does it mean to your child? Sometimes I wonder if my kids and I speak the same language. Instructions that are perfectly clear to me do not always get the result I was hoping for. Does that ever happen at your house?

Let’s take a closer look at the word “responsible.” It means being answerable or accountable for something within one’s power, such as a list of “chores” to be done. However, in order to be accountable, the child needs to know what exactly what is expected. How many times have you sent a child to clean their room and when you go to inspect it you wonder how they thought it qualified as being clean? We need to be very specific in what we see the end result as being so that our child will know when the chore is completed. Having their chores listed on their online job chart makes being accountable easy. Being able to check off completed chores gives your child a sense of accomplishment.

The best way to help a child understand what they need to do is for the parent to work alongside of their child at first, showing them the way and giving them tips on how to get the job done. It’s like giving them a “lesson” first. That way everyone knows what is expected. Just don’t expect more than is reasonable. Having attainable goals and the prospect of earning a reward will keep your child enthusiastic about doing his or her jobs.

Making the chores age-appropriate is also important. This is where you will find My Job Charthelpful. With the use of the icons even young children can be assigned simple chores. It’s wise not to overwhelm or over-schedule children of any age.

If you are new to My Job Chart or even if you have been utilizing our system for some time, you will find useful tips on how to best set up and maintain a workable program for your child on the main site and in previous posts on this blog, particularly in “Making the Most of My Job Chart.”

Now, let’s try tweaking that word, “responsible.” You can also think of it as “response – able.” Able to respond; most parents want to raise children that are caring, compassionate, helpful, innovative and dependable. If a child can learn to see what is needed (someone needs help, a mess needs to be cleaned up, etc.) and respond to it without being asked, they are becoming “response – able.” When they realize they’ve made a mistake and their first reaction is to apologize and try to make amends, they are becoming “response – able.” These traits are learned as children observe their parents behave in this manner and as they have opportunities to do the same. Having a system in place where kids are accountable on a regular basis for completing tasks will go far in helping them to become responsible now and in the years to come.

A Little Financial Literacy in January Will Bring a Peaceful Holiday Season Next December

January 11th, 2012 - Category: Financial Literacy

We hope you all enjoyed the holiday season with your families. We certainly did. The holidays are perfect for enjoying family time together. They provide opportunities for giving service and teaching our children about faith, charity, patience and generosity. They can also be the source of stress, headaches, overspending, disappointment and unnecessary debt. Which was the case for you?

Now is the time to plan ahead for this year’s gift-giving season so that it can be enjoyed worry-free and debt-free. January is ideal for spending a little time with our children discussing the holidays and planning now to save enough throughout the year to be able to provide gifts for those on their gift-giving list. (We would do well to do the same). Doing so is part of a skill set to be found in “Financial Literacy.”

What exactly is “financial literacy?” It is a set of skills and knowledge that allows an individual to make informed and effective decisions through their understanding of money.The economic principles you and your child need to know to make informed fiscal decisions and the understanding of various banking and budgetary products and procedures that affect your financial well-being all are part of “financial literacy.”

Instilling good, fundamental financial skills in our children will have a profound impact on their future lives. Kids need to understand that the money we spend and the money they are allowed to spend is money that is earned; it is income. Too many children see mom or dad swipe a card and walk out of the store with goods without realizing that money was withdrawn from the account in the case of a debit or, that money is owed in the case of a credit card purchase. It is important that they understand one works in order to earn money and then that income is to be managed well in order to provide for the needs of the family.

Teaching children basic money management skills, including saving, sharing and spending should be part of a financial literacy legacy we give to them. Simple lessons in investing (even by means of a savings account) and credit can help them understand at an early age that money can either serve you or hold you hostage. Such knowledge prepares them to make critical financial decisions. Find ways to teach them about compound interest; time is on their side. (Future blogs will provide examples and website links you may want to use with your children).

Albert Einstein said, “The eighth wonder of the world is compound interest.” Here’s a video clip that might surprise you. Would you rather have a million dollars right now or would like to take the end result of doubling a penny each day for 31 days?

A Penny a Day for 31 Days or 1 Million Right Now Today?

As parents, it pays to always be on the lookout for a “teachable moment.” When our kids are with us when we use the ATM or are in line at the grocery store, explain that the money you’re getting or spending is money you earned. Try inventing little systems and games that help them to understand money and its uses. The beauty of is not only how it teaches kids of any age the value of work, it also provides actual experience in “earning” something that they can save, share and spend.

We hope this new year is the beginning of many wonderful and happy times for you and your family and that, together, we can raise up a generation of money savvy consumers; young people who know the value of work and the value of saving for their futures.