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Teaching Kids to Manage Money

Written by Jana Klinderová, Educational Specialist at Lipa

Kids copy everything you do and this is no different from how they see you handle money. How you deal with money, your attitude and your feelings about welfare, fortune, and poverty, will all have a large influence on how your children will manage finances in their adult lives – even in regards to their job, personal values, and potential fortune. The most effective way to teach kids financial education is to be a good example for them. When is the best time to start? Right now!

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Some parents worry about exposing their children to money too early because they want to protect them from adult pressures, but helping your child to understand and respect money from an early age will help them manage it better later on. You can start by letting your child see and handle notes, coins, and cards, and to pay for things and tip people, so that they can become familiar with money as a part of their everyday life.

 

Money and its value

Explain to kids what coins, money, checks, and credit cards are and explain to them how these forms of finances work. Explain to them where money comes from. For example dad and mum have money from their work, grandpa lives from money he has saved during his life.

Relate to them the notion of earning. Take your kids to your job and show them what exactly you do, talk with your kids about ways of making money and about different jobs. Explain to your kids how long you have to work so that you can buy those new shoes, that new bicycle, or go on a holiday.   

 

Kids love role-playing

Create “kid money” to play with. Play like you’re in a store, sell and buy toys, fruit, or use old boxes to pretend to be various items for sale. You can even bargain with your kids to help build negotiation skills. Talk with kids about the value of money. More items cost more money. An old car costs less than a new one and when you spend less on one thing you have more for other things.

You can also think about an extra activity or chore for your child and for which they could be given some small amount of money, like taking the trash to the dumpster, hoovering the inside of the car, and so on. But this shouldn’t substitute the housework which kids do as a contribution to the household.

 

Need vs. want

It is important to explain to kids the difference between what we really need–like buying food, paying rent, paying for electricity, school, and all the necessary costs for living–versus things that we want–like cool clothes, other toys, magazines, or movies. Kids should know what the family spends money on.

We can also mark a savings goal for the family like a weekend trip or a circus visit. This will support the family to work as a real team.   

 

Money management

Explain to your kids the difference between spending (on needed vs. wanted things), saving, and sharing money and the value of being charitable. Encourage kids to save money in a little piggy bank regularly. When they want to buy something with their own money, talk with them about their plans, but let them decide.

Encourage kids to share with others their time, ideas, skills, and not only things and money. Encourage them to support someone, choose a project or charity that as a family you can support together. Let the kids choose toys they no longer play with and clothes that are too small to give to neighbors, the homeless, and people in need.  

Use money wisely and your kids will do the same.

 

Sources:

Kiyosaki R., Lechter S., Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!,  Warner Business Books, 2000

 

Recommended articles:

How to Raise a Child with a Growth Mindset

How to Encourage Kids’ Patience

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How to Talk to Kids about Death

Written by Ladislava Whitcroft, Educational Specialist at Lipa

As a little girl, I used to live next to a cemetery. From time to time, we went there for a walk with my parents, looking at the tombstones and creating stories about the people in the photographs. Death was never a taboo subject for us. But even if it’s not something your family talks about, it will no doubt come up sooner or later in conversation. Kids are curious and with All Souls’ Day coming up, it’s a good time to take your kids to the cemetery to light a candle for someone.

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Don’t be afraid to talk about death

 

Some adults are afraid to discuss death with kids, often from the fear that it might cause kids (or even themselves) anxiety. Sometimes adults simply don’t know what to say. But death is a natural part of our lives and not talking about it doesn’t make it go away from our minds; quite the opposite. Kids encounter death already in fairy tales and it doesn’t cause much stress when sometimes a character such as an old king dies. During a walk in the forest, kids might see a dead beetle or a bird. Maybe someone they knew in the family has passed away.  

If your kids bring up the topic of death, don’t brush it off. Kids need to know they can talk about everything with you and that you are their support system. If you try to avoid the answer, they might start thinking that it’s something horrible they shouldn’t talk about. Then it might actually cause them anxiety and stress. On the other hand, it’s not a good idea to force the topic on them. Simply wait until your child is ready and then be there for them.

 

A couple of tips

 

The way you discuss death with kids depends on your religious or other views, as well as the current situation. Make sure that you make it simple and don’t use words your child cannot understand. You should also be honest. Don’t tell kids something that isn’t true just to sugarcoat reality, such as that a deceased person is only sleeping, or that they went away. If you don’t have an answer to your kids’ questions, it’s better to say that you don’t know rather than making up something you don’t believe yourself. During childhood it’s good to develop kids’ respect for other viewpoints by saying that some people believe one thing, while others believe something else.

If you’re unsure about which words you should use, you can find inspiration in stories and picture books. There are several great books that you can use, such as The Elephant in the Room, When Dinosaurs Die or The Death Book.

 

When a loved one dies

 

What should we say if someone close to us dies? If the family pet dies, allow kids to grieve and maybe create a nice grave and burial. Grief is, after all, a natural part of life, just like happiness. Let kids know it’s perfectly normal to feel sad and that they shouldn’t try to hide it.

Unfortunately, it may also happen that a close family member or a friend dies. In this case, you should stay close to your kids and show that you are ready to listen to them. Let your kids express their memories about the deceased, if they want to. Let them light a candle, draw a picture or put a flower on the grave. “An open display of sadness and grief has a relaxing and healing effect, and it allows kids to grieve as well,” says child psychiatrist Iva Dudova. Reassure your kids that you’ll take care of them, that they are not responsible for the death of their loved one, and that they don’t have to be afraid of catching common diseases such as cold or fever.

 

How do children understand death?

 

Children’s perception of death differs and develops with age. Generally, kids begin to understand the irreversibility of death around the age of five. Small children understand death in the context of playing; for example, they can think that “grandpa’s batteries are out of power”, or they use fairy tale scenarios such as “granny left with the Death character”. Whether kids are fascinated or scared of death, it’s our job to let them know it’s a natural phenomenon and that we’re always there for support in whatever way they need.

 

Sources:

Hospicenet.org – Talking to Children About Death

 

More articles by Ladislava Whitcroft:

How to Raise a Child with a Growth Mindset

How to Behave Towards People with Disabilities

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All About Halloween

Written by Itziar Madera, Educational Specialist at Lipa

The night is coming! Half the world is getting ready for everyone’s favourite spooky celebration. Pumpkins, candles, spiders, sweets, witches, and more will soon be running around everywhere out there, decorating houses, gardens, streets, cities, and villages.

We all love a good celebration: it brings us joy, fun, nice times, and memories, but do we really know why we are celebrating some holidays? Is it simply because they’re a trend? Because your neighbours are celebrating it? Is your kids’ school doing it? Or because you know what Halloween truly means?

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We want everyone to think and celebrate whatever they want but we think now, just a few more days till October 31, it’s a good time to explain to your kids what Halloween is, why it’s celebrated, when it starts, how it goes, through games, videos, movies, activities, talks, and definitely spending time with the family. At this age, kids start to ask questions, so who are the best figures to answer these questions? Their heroes: parents. In addition, it’s a great opportunity to show and teach kids about festivities around the world that lead to open minded and positive attitudes towards people from different cultures; to respect them and understand them.

The Roots of Halloween

Halloween is a celebration of Anglo-Saxon origin that is celebrated in the evening of October 31. It dates back to the time of the ancient Celts, more than 2,500 years ago, when they marked the end of their year. On that last day of October, they believed that spirits could do things like leave the cemetery, eat food, and curse the living. They could do spells and tricks if you did not agree to their demands, which is how the phrase of “Trick or Treat” came along. To avoid this, the residents of Celtic villages would decorate their houses with bones, skulls, and other scary things, so that the dead were frightened and would stay away. Hence the tradition of decorating a house with sinister motifs and wearing costumes.

As the Catholics spread across Europe, they encountered all sorts of pagan festivals like Halloween. Instead of removing the time-honoured traditions of the locals, they decided to adapt them to display more Christian ideas. Halloween then came to be recognized as a three day festival to recognize the departed, starting with All Saint’s Eve on October 31st, followed by All Saints’ Day, and All Souls’ Day.

The celebration was exported to the United States by European immigrants in the nineteenth century, but it didn’t take hold as a true celebration until 1921. That year the first Halloween parade was held in Minnesota and was soon followed by other states.

How It’s Celebrated Around the World

Halloween truly came into how Americans celebrate it today in the late 70s and early 80s thanks to movies and television series. Today, in the United States and what’s becoming more common in other countries, children dress for the occasion and walk the streets begging for candy from door to door. After knocking, the children shout out the phrase “Trick or Treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat!” If adults gave them candy, money, or any other reward, it would be interpreted that they have accepted the deal. If instead they refused, the children would then play a little prank on them, though this is rarely ever carried out.

Trick or treating is done in many other countries, but often with some differences. In Latin American countries, for example, they go around and ask politely for their sugar skulls, as this is the treat of choice there. In Europe, trick-or-treating isn’t so common.

In European cities like Prague, local churches mark it by having Requiem concerts. Both in Europe and in many Latin American countries, they also visit the graves of their passed relatives and recall their lives, and in Mexico they additionally host large parades, parties, and dances.

Costumes and Colours

As Halloween was originally a festival based on magic and spells, the “characters” that are often associated with Halloween include ghosts, witches, black cats, goblins, and demons, as well as certain literary figures such as Dracula and Frankenstein’s monster. This has been rapidly changing though, and many who aren’t into the more morbid aspect simply mark it wearing costumes of fantasy figures, like comic book characters and story book heroes.  

The traditional colours of Halloween are the black of night and the orange of the first light of day. Halloween also features autumnal symbols like pumpkins and scarecrows. Keeping with the more sinister side, Americans often carve scary faces into their pumpkins and put candles inside.

This is one very good opportunity to teach your kids about festivities from other cultures, how they’re celebrated differently, and to spend some quality time with them, sharing stories, making crafts, carving pumpkins, and cooking magic potions.

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How to Raise a Child with a Growth Mindset

Written by Ladislava Whitcroft, Educational Specialist at Lipa

Try to estimate how often these or similar words are spoken in your household: I will never manage that. I am not clever enough. That’s good enough, I can’t make it any better anyway. Does it happen quite often? Then your family has likely adopted a fixed mindset and it’s probably time you made some changes.

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People with this type of thinking tend to be more pessimistic. They think everything should stay as it is, or that things can’t change (e.g. we are born either clever or stupid and can’t do anything about it). In the past, one of the first primitive men with a fixed mindset may have grumbled that this new “fire” is a strange nuisance that will just burn our skin off, and why would anyone throw your precious meat over it?  

The opposite type of thinking is called a Growth Mindset. Its theory is based on neuroscience research which shows that our intelligence is not fixed. On the contrary, we can and should keep expanding it by exercising our brain and striving for improvement.

Motivational Words and Pictures

Let’s rephrase the above stated sentences, so they sound for example like this: Practice makes perfect. Rome wasn’t built in a day. I won’t give up. A bit of brain stretching won’t go amiss. They sound better, don’t they? If you agree, you should make sure that they are spoken in your household so children can hear them often enough.

In case you decide to practice writing with your children as well, you can write some motivational statements on a notice-board and put it on the wall where you can see them every day. Invite children to help you and get creative by adding a few nice pictures. You can teach them about the brain in the process and have a bit of fun. What would an exercising Mr. Brain look like on a picture? Would he be doing weight lifting or yoga?

Stories about People Who Don’t Give Up

Tell or read children stories about people who became successful thanks to their strong will.  You can use both real or fictional characters. In case your children are crazy about computers, you can tell them the story about the guys who developed Google, or about Steve Jobs.

Children may be surprised by the fact that these great people started their quest for glory by setting up their workspace in a garage! Walt Disney is also a good example of a fighter. Despite his tough beginnings, his fairy-tales are now loved by children all over the world.

Talking about fairy-tales, many of them hide positive messages that inspires us to overcome obstacles with our strong will. If you like the role of a story-teller, you can even make up your own fairy-tale. Or you can adapt an existing one. Having golden hair and a beautiful face may come handy, but wouldn’t it be better if a princess won her happiness by trying really hard?

We Learn by Mistakes

We often give up in advance because we’re afraid of mistakes. From the stories depicting lives of famous people we can learn that mistakes can be a great source of inspiration. We should teach our kids that it is ok to make mistakes as we can learn from them. Next time you do something wrong, try to say something like this instead of swearing: I didn’t assemble this shelf correctly because I didn’t read the manual. Well, at least I learned that next time I need to study the manual beforehand.

It’s Great That Alice Is So Good

Positive people celebrate the successes of the people around them. Next time your child whines that she or he will never draw as pretty a pony as her friend Alice, tell her something like this: It’s great that Alice is good at it. She can show you the ropes if you ask her nicely. You are good at building cube towers, which is something you can teach Alice next time.

 

Sources:

https://goo.gl/7rUJLo

https://goo.gl/TF2C6

https://goo.gl/3D3hNr

 

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Lipa Takes the Stage at the Education Startup Weekend Panel

October 9, 2017

Technology is changing the world as we know it. If we’re going to keep up with the changing world, then we have to bring those changes into our education system as well. That’s the idea behind both Lipa and the Education Startup Weekend. The Startup Weekend was held here in the old town of Prague from October 6 – 8, drawing in experts from around the international education community.

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Before the Weekend officially began, we attended a panel discussion where our own educational expert Jitka Fortikova was able to share Lipa’s vision. Jitka discussed the question of how we’ve gone wrong in the classroom. “I think a better question to raise is this: how can technology fix what isn’t working or changing in the classroom,” she said. “The content changed, but not the format of learning in school and that is a problem. I think that preschool is an underestimated sector… we have to invest in a career system for teachers where they keep learning.” She stressed the importance of teachers themselves having access to a lifetime of education.

Then she went on to explain Lipa’s role in this issue and how we developed our preschool curriculum, which “was created in order to change the way we make educational apps.” She mentioned how important it was not to center our life around a single device, but that we should be expressive and continue to engage with the outside world. This is the goal of our upcoming product, Lipa Adventure, where you are “using the device to get out of the device.”

More about our curriculum can be found here on our webpage. Stay tuned for the upcoming release of Lipa Adventure.

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