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Teach Your Children How To Manage Money, Part 8

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For the past few weeks, NY1 has examined some of the specific ways you can talk to your kids about money, but there is such a thing as too much information. In this final segment, NY1's Tara Lynn Wagner takes a look at how to handle some of the more tricky topics.

If you want to raise financially savvy kids, speak up.

"One of the pitfalls that parents can actually have in talking to their kids about money is not talking to their kids about money," says Paul Golden, a spokesperson for the National Endowment for Financial Education.

While experts advocate transparency and open dialogue, there are a few things better left unsaid.

"You do not want to fight about how we're spending money, who is making more money, who is spending too much, in front of your kids," says Dr. Barbara Nusbaum, a psychologist. "It is overwhelming to them."

"Don't say, 'Don't tell dad the shoes really cost X,' or don’t say, 'Don't tell mom that I paid this on our credit card,'" says Linda Descano, president and CEO of Citi's Women and Co. "You have to really model the right behavior."

"You don't need to tell you children how much money you make," says Carmen Wong Ulrich, president of ALTA Wealth Management. "You don't need to tell them necessarily how much the mortgage is."

But that's not to say you should leave your kids in the dark, either, especially if the family is going through a financial hardship.

"While you shouldn't panic your child and make them worry, it is OK to sit them down and explain to them how things may be different, and the importance of making choices," says Donna Rosato, senior writer for Money magazine.

The importance of making choices is one of those pivotal money lessons you need to go over again and again, even if this means stopping in the store aisle to offer an explanation instead of an excuse.

"Don't say, 'We can’t afford it.' Don’t hide behind that," Descano says. "Say, 'If we buy this, we can’t buy groceries, or we won’t be able to go bowling on Saturday.' So help them understand the choices that you make."

Of course, there are times when it pays to bite your tongue. The only way they'll learn from their money mistakes is if they make them, so resist the urge to rush in and bail them out.

"They have to pay $30 for an overdraft? Well, once you pay that $30, you will always remember that lesson," says Beth Kobliner, author of "Get a Financial Life".

From needs versus wants to student loan interest, there's a lot to ground to cover over the years. The key to getting your kids to listen is to keep it conversational.

"If you start to lecture kids about money or anything else, you'll have lost them," Nusbaum says.

"There's so many opportunities in every day that you are doing with your children to share knowledge and let the conversation go as it may," says Amy Rosen, CEO and president of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship.

For more tips on how to talk to your children about money, visit moneyasyougrow.org.

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