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By Marian Wilde
Step 4: Become a charitable family.
Eileen: That's so that kids begin to understand that there are other uses for money besides just buying things for yourself. I think it's really important to do it as a family. Children need to have charity become concrete so that they can experience it.
Step 5: Teach financial literacy.
Jon: That's everything from giving them an allowance to introducing them to savings and checking accounts to introducing them to plastic. [The Gallos recommend introducing teens to credit cards. As they say in their book: "We make this recommendation not because credit cards are wonderful but because they are everywhere, and we can no more ignore our child's need for credit card education than we can ignore his need for sex education."]
Step 6: Be aware of the values you model.
Eileen: Eighty to ninety percent of all communication is nonverbal. Do you as a parent spend a lot of money? Do you have to have the latest thing? Just be aware, very conscious of your behavior. How you spend your money is based on values. Do you spend a tremendous amount of money on clothes? Do you have to have a new car every year? Do you save for charity? Do you invest? All of those things are values.
Step 7: Moderate your extreme money tendencies.
Jon: In the book we talk about one mother who would go shopping with the kids. She'd grab a handful of credit cards, give one to the clerk and say "Let's see if the credit card gods are smiling on me." She'd never know whether she'd maxed out her credit cards or not!
Eileen: The other extreme is people who are so frugal that it compromises how they live their lives. If you're overly frugal, kids grow up feeling deprived.
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