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The Biggest Mistake Parents Make in Teaching Their Kids About Money

By Motley Fool Staff - Oct 9, 2017 at 4:19PM

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It’s not being profligate, and it’s not ignoring the issue; it’s something we actually work hard to discourage the kids from doing.

In this Motley Fool Answers video segment, Alison Southwick and Robert Brokamp are joined by personal finance guru, journalist, and author Beth Kobliner, whose most recent best-seller is Make Your Kid A Money Genius (Even If You're Not): A Parents' Guide for Kids 3 to 23. It offers a raft of straightforward advice for teaching your children the skills and habits that will lead them to lifelong financial stability. And many of us could use the help, because it's easy to ignore the important parts -- or send the wrong message. And in one particular way, says Kobliner, we may be doing that a lot with the best of intentions -- through little white lies.

A full transcript follows the video.

This video was recorded on Sept. 12, 2017.

Alison Southwick: What do you think is the biggest mistake people make when they're trying to teach their kids about money?

Beth Kobliner: I think people lie. You're at the store and your kid is like, "I want that!" And you're like, "Oh, we don't have money," and then you go and buy a latte with a credit card. And they're like, "Wait a second. You just said we don't have any money. I don't get it."

I think parents who have a lot of money are really nervous about their kid [feeling] entitled. And I've heard that. I spoke at Google and that was a repeated question. I think they're afraid to even broach the topic of money. But, on the flip side, people who don't have much money -- who are really worried about it -- are worried that their kids won't be able to have as good a life as they had and not go to the schools that they went to.

So I think in general we think about our own financial baggage rather than just put it all aside and say, "Here are the things I need to teach kids." And I don't think you have to be a money genius to teach your kid to be a money genius. I feel strongly about that.

Southwick: Well, you feel so strongly it's in the title. Make Your Kid a Money Genius (Even If You're Not).

Kobliner: Even if you're not.

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