Written by : New Horizons Development Centre

          Registered Educational Psychologist Pang Chi WahUnder the epidemic, many families have become accustomed to shopping online, which is convenient and fast and frees up more time for other tasks. Even in everyday purchases, there is often no need to pay cash directly, for example, when taking transportation or shopping at convenience stores, you only need to use your Octopus to complete the payment process without using any coins. When everyone is used to it, and children already know how to use this kind of electronic money, is there any problem? In fact, “convenience” can sometimes stifle the knowledge that can be gained in the learning process.

Just think about it, the use of credit cards by adults is also convenient for shopping, but it can be a big challenge to our financial management skills because we need to be very disciplined in order not to exceed our budgets or “spend money in the future”. A young man once confessed that when he was growing up, his family was richer, and when he saw his family paying for things after dinner or at the department store, all he had to do was sign for them; when he wanted to buy something, his family would also go along with his wishes and sign for it. But it was not until he started working that he realized that he still needed to pay for something other than his signature. Money is found to be limited. Is it too late to start learning financial control at that moment?

Parents are encouraged to give their children opportunities to make actual purchases in their daily lives when they are young. This helps to enhance their cognitive understanding, mathematical concepts and, more importantly, their general knowledge and habits of financial management. For example, ask them to pay in cash instead of electronically when buying food from convenience stores or subway tickets. Even though parents may need to spend more time in the process, they may not have a complete concept of money yet, but their actual participation can easily generate curiosity and observation, and gradually feel or understand the value of different items.

Parents can teach them to recognize money at different levels as they grow up, and when teaching them to actually buy things, they must add fun learning or activity elements. First, parents can provide them with opportunities at home to learn about different coins or bills, such as the difference between one and two dollars and the colors of different bills. Second, when they have mastered the basic concepts, parents can ask them to change the coins or bills that they are instructed to change. Further, once they know how to pay in one direction, parents can guide them to take back the money they have redeemed. Finally, when they are learning to buy, they need to know if they are getting the right amount of money, and the amount or complexity of the amount can increase as their cognitive level increases!

In general, parents do not need to give up paying electronically in their daily life, as long as they have enough coins or banknotes for learning on weekends or when appropriate. For example, when taking a bus, take out the coins and actually check them, or when buying something, count the money provided by the parents and try to feel the actual purchase, if it is really inconvenient, parents can use electronic means to complete the transaction simultaneously.