Teaching Kids About Money

What I Want My Daughter to Learn Series featuring Molly Fletcher

Few things can replicate the relationship between a mother and her daughter. As a mother, you want nothing short of greatness for your daughter — in all she does and everywhere she goes. You want to guide her down a path to achieve that greatness, providing wisdom and life lessons along the way.

For Molly Fletcher, an Atlanta mother of three daughters, one of those core life lessons is the value of money. In this first edition of our “What I Want My Daughter to Learn” series, you’ll hear how the CEO, former professional sports agent, author, and motivational speaker is teaching her daughters that and more.

Teaching Kids the Value of Money

Fletcher’s 12-year-old daughter recently asked for a new smartphone. Sure, Fletcher could have easily — and quickly — run to the store and purchased one. Instead, she used the moment to teach a lesson in value and thoughtfulness.

Fletcher’s response to the request? “You broke your phone, so you’re going to need to buy your phone.”

She and her daughter had a conversation about the need and researched costs together. In the end, Fletcher took her daughter to the bank and withdrew the money from her daughter’s account to pay for the phone. “It was such a healthy process for her to have to hold the money, hand the money over, and see it go,” Fletcher says.

The result: Her daughter now takes pristine care of her phone. “I was able to teach her that when you purchase something that is really important to you, you will take better care of it,” says Fletcher, who strives to teach her daughters by example and through genuine, everyday lessons, and conversations.

If something is a want rather than a need, she encourages her 12-year-old daughter and 11-year-old twins to pay for it themselves, so they can learn the importance of saving toward a goal and recognize the value of a dollar.

When they come to her looking for ways to earn money, Fletcher focuses on personal development sometimes instead of household chores. “I may have them watch a motivational speaker video, proof a section of one of my books, or read other leadership or business books and identify key points. That way they’re always learning,” she says.

Fletcher family discussions also include “unacceptables” to emphasize the importance of values and standards. They collaborate and come up with these together. For example, buying something before you can actually pay for it is an “unacceptable” — a lesson Fletcher learned from her own parents. “The more clarity you can create, the easier it is for your kids to make a good decision when they find themselves in a situation,” she says.

Still, she knows she has to let her daughters fall and get back up. But there’s no better time for that than when she’s there to help pick them up. “I try to remind my girls that mistakes are awesome and failure is fantastic,” she says. “When you don’t know how to fail and recover, to me, you’re not armed for the world.”