Taco Bell opened up in our neighbourhood. My husband and I went for lunch at Taco Bell. The restaurant was very hippy; the walls were covered with portraits of people who were enjoying life, skydiving and what not. The music was loud. My hubby went to place the order and I sat at one of the tables to hold it. At my next table there was a group of kids between 10 -12 years old, enjoying their nachos. They were almost done with their lunch.
One of the senior waiters from the restaurant came to them and asked, ‘Did you like it?’
The bravest or the most well-mannered kid in the group answered, ‘Yes’
‘Are you going to come again?’
‘Please visit us again’
All the little heads in the group nodded to that statement. My husband bought over the nachos and the quesadilla’s dripping with cheese. I looked at my cheesy fatty food, looked at him and said, ‘Kids of this generation will grow up very differently from us’.
He replied, ‘Yes, it’s true’
The first time I went outside to eat with my friends was in my Bachelors. As I write this, I recollect my aunt telling her teenage daughter, who asked for more clothes, ‘You know, when I was of your age I had only two sarees. When one was up for washing I used to wear the other one’. I also remember the lovely pouty face of my cousin, who brushed her mother’s gyaan aside by saying, ‘I KNOW MOM, but you belong to a completely different generation’. I visualize the same thing happening with my kids,’ You know what? The first time I ate outside was in Bachelors. I did not even have pocket money until Engineering’. I always thought I will never impart such gyaan to my kids; it is unfortunate that I will also join the generation-gap bandwagon of parents.
The cities have changed with time and brought a change in lifestyle, malls, restaurants, movie theatres and game centres are everywhere. The working upper middle class parents can afford to provide the best experiences for their kids. The real question is, ‘Do these kids really know where the money to afford such lifestyle comes from?’
One of my colleagues mentioned casually that when his son asks him for anything and he says, ‘I don’t have money’. His son simply replies, ‘Go to the ATM and get it’. For the kids, the ATM is the ultimate money giving machine; you can just go there, withdraw and spend money. The yester generation used to scold our monetary demands by saying, ‘Money does not grow on trees’. For today’s generation, ‘Money grows in ATMs’.
We have to educate our children about the language of paisa. How to earn, manage and grow money? We need to dispel the myth about credit cards, 0 interest rates and zero payments on credit cards. Opening a bank account is one of the best ways to learn about managing money. Banks like ICICI Bank, ING Vysya Bank, HDFC Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank provide savings bank accounts for children (between 7-18 years). Help the kids manage their pocket money and understand that money does not grow in ATMs. More information about how to educate children about finances can be obtained from the link below.