Children and Money

Kids Today: Digital Skills vs Life Skills #Infographic

Digital Skills vs Life Skills #Infographic | www.TheHeavyPurse.comI always enjoy talking with other parents about raising kids. It is interesting to get their perspective and insight and to also see where we differ. There are lots of opinions on how to raise children, but there is probably no universally correct way to raise a child or guarantee they will turn into well-adjusted, productive adults. As you can imagine, I am always advocating financial literacy in these conversations. Sometimes my advice is received warmly, although it is a bit of surprise to some parents who had not previously considered the importance of money talks. While other times, it is not as appreciated.

Generally, I hear some variation on the “kids should be kids” excuse. I agree that kids should be kids and not be weighed down with grown-up concerns. I also don’t believe teaching kids about money robs them of their childhood. Helping our kids gain money life skills is no different than teaching them their ABCs, 2+2=4 or good manners. All these things are done to help kids learn and grow into capable, successful adults.

Life Skills Require Our Attention

Everyone moves so fast these days. We move from one thing to another constantly, which means some things, like life skills, get lost in the mix. Parents pay close to attention to how their kids do at school because they link doing well academically to their children’s eventual success in their profession. Chris and I definitely want and expect the girls to do well at school, but it does not make-up their entire education. I’ve seen many people do well professionally but because their life skills — their ability to communicate, to make good financial decisions, to take care of themselves and so on — are poor, they remain unable to create the life they want for themselves.

Technology Versus Life Skills

We now also face another threat or competition in the form of technology. Technological skills are now being given more priority than life skills at home and school. I definitely appreciate the convenience technology has given me and want Lauren and Taylor to be tech-savvy because not having these skill sets will hold them back in the world we live in today. At the same time, when you look at some of these statistics complied by AVG in the following infographic, it is clear there needs to be a better balance.

Kids Today: Technological Skills vs Life Skills #infographic |

There is nothing wrong with children becoming tech savvy at a very young age. These days it is to be expected. However, it saddens me to see how it further pushes life skills down the to-do list, especially when you consider that technology can also expose our kids to more predators. Now, more than ever, they need the life skills to recognize and protect themselves against those kinds of threats. We, as parents, also need to be educated on how to protect our kids and instill these kinds of skills, whether it is recognizing danger or making good decisions with their money, in our children.

Don’t Ignore Life Skills

Academics and digital skills are important to helping our children succeed now and as adults, but I humbly ask that you also don’t forget about life skills. These skills enhance, complement and round-out your child’s education. Without strong life skills, your child is missing a key ingredient in building the life they want for themselves.

What statistic surprised you the most? How do you balance academics, technology and life skills in your home?


October 23, 2015  •  4 Comments  •  Children and Money

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  1. Friday, October 23rd, 2015
    You know it's funny I'm more shocked by encountering a child with good manors now than I am a child with bad manners. That is sad. My parents might have missed the boat on a few life lessons, like financial ones, but if we did not have perfect manners there would be hell to pay. And with the right dialog, I don't see it being a problem to have money discussions with kids. I mean they learn basic math right? Why not apply that to something realistic, but fun, like a game?
  2. Friday, October 23rd, 2015
    One of the things I'm happiest about is that my kid loves to cook. She's gotten inspired by kid cooking shows, and her goal is to be on Master Chef Junior once she turns 8. I'm not sure she'll make it (her palate is more hotdog than haute cuisine), but I know that her ability to scramble eggs at 5 makes it much more likely that she will be able to save money and eat healthy as she grows older.
  3. Leslie
    Friday, October 23rd, 2015
    I've noticed that surveys tend to ask you about things with the assumption that you have access to or own that item. Like a question, "When was the last time your car had an oil change?" I have to answer 1+ Year because I don't own a car. But I was never asked, "Do you own a car?" So, for these statistics, I'm wondering if they ever asked "Does your child have access to a swimming facility?" and "Does your own a bicycle?" Are those stats comparing all children, or only children who have access to a bike/pool. It's more likely that a child's parents can afford a cell phone (as a necessity) versus affording to buy the child a bicycle (as a luxury). So those are weird things to compare.
  4. Friday, October 23rd, 2015
    Kids are an investment just like money. If you want good results then you need to take the time and help them develop. You just don't fall in to being rich and your kids just don't turn out right, you have to help them. Some of my greatest satisfaction in life comes from seeing my daughter develop great habits and talents...many times it is more satisfying than anything I have accomplished professionally. Love the article and advice. Take the time to help them read a real book, how to talk to people other than texting....if not you may need to clear some room in your house because they could be staying with you for a long, long time.
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    "As a Certified Financial Planner, it is my passion to help individuals and families build a healthy relationship with money. I look forward to helping you raise financially confident kids.” - Shannon Ryan