WILMINGTON, Del., and APPLETON, Wis. (4/27/11)--Nearly all (95%) parents say they're primarily accountable for their kids' financial education, but only 29% say they are "excellent" financial role models. In fact, says a new survey, parents would rather talk with their kids about sex and drugs than about money. The survey, conducted by ING DIRECT USA, a direct bank based in Wilmington, Del., noted that parents are on the front line of their children's financial education but they struggle to talk about money. Among the survey findings:
* Roughly 32% of parents are prepared to talk to their kids about drugs and alcohol; * About 28% of parents are prepared to talk about sex and dating with their children; and * About 26%t are prepared to talk with their kids about about money and finances.
Prospera CU, based in Appleton, Wis., offered some advice for parents in this situation in the Green Bay Press-Gazette
(April 26). Parents should not feel uncomfortable talking to their kids about money. Instead, take the opportunity to show why saving can yield results, said Kristina Florez, Prospera's director of marketing, in the article. Parents can lead by example, she said. When making a trip to the credit union or bank, take the child along and talk about what you're doing. It helps kids understand the process of where the money is going and why, Flores added. If you're planning for a vacation, the kids can see why it takes time to save for it, she said. A trip to the store also can provide a learning opportunity. If a child wants something, the parent can offer to pay for part of the item, with the child paying for the rest. This makes children think about how they spend their money and whether the item is truly something they want or need, Flores told the newspaper. The ING DIRECT USA study also found that economic uncertainty may continue to impact parents' ability to be good role models. Parents are tapping their kids' savings to pay bills and debt. About 31% of parents have withdrawn or considered withdrawing money from their kids' savings to pay bills or pay off debt. And more than half (58%) are saving less for their child's future than they did two years ago. Roughly 46% have sacrificed contributions to their child's savings. The phone survey was conducted with 2,000 adults over 18 years old, with 627 indicating they were parents of a child under 18, said ING DIRECT.