Teaching your child financial empowerment: A conversation with Brice Sisco

Celebrating National Financial ∗Empowerment∗ Month: A Conversation with Brice Sisco

In honor of April as National Financial Empowerment Month, we spoke with Brice Sisco, sales manager at Arvest Bank – Central Arkansas, about how he teaches financial independence to his four children. Keep scrolling to read our Q&A with Brice as he shares his favorite financial tips, tricks and resources. 

 

As a parent and a banker, how important is it to start teaching financial independence to your children from a young age?

I am the father of four children, three of whom are triplets. Teaching financial independence from a young age was paramount in my household. It helps children understand the value of money, saving, budgeting and investing. This foundation will serve them well as they age and face more significant financial decisions. This concept also promotes responsibility and accountability. Allowing your children to manage their own money will teach them about the consequences of their choices and will help them develop a sense of responsibility.

 

What are some effective ways to lead by example when it comes to financial behavior?

There are several ways to lead by example. For instance, practice responsible spending and show your children that you should make thoughtful and conscious purchasing decisions when spending money. Demonstrate the difference between needs and wants. It’s also essential to set a good example by consistently saving and investing for the future. Be transparent and openly discuss financial matters with your children, including income expenses and financial goals. This transparency will help them understand the realities of managing money.

Most importantly, explain that they should avoid impulsive purchases and show restraint when making purchases so that they understand the concept of delayed gratification. Teach the value of hard work and remember to give back to your community. These are all effective ways to lead by example.

 

How can parents create an environment where their children feel comfortable discussing money?

The most important part is to start early. Introduce age-appropriate concepts and discuss money at an early age. This will normalize these conversations, and children will become more comfortable discussing financial matters as they grow up. Create an atmosphere where your children feel comfortable approaching you with money-related questions or concerns. You need to be approachable and nonjudgmental. Instead of lecturing your child about finances, offer guidance and support when discussing financial matters.

 

In your opinion, what are the benefits of setting financial goals with your children?

Setting goals is an essential life skill, like critical thinking or problem-solving. These skills extend beyond financial matters and positively impact your children’s lives. Accomplishing financial goals boosts your children’s self-esteem, confidence and empowerment. It helps them develop a positive mindset towards money and their ability to achieve their aspirations.

 

How can parents empower their children to make their own financial decisions?

We need to understand that our children may make financial mistakes along the way. Instead of rescuing them immediately, allow them to experience the consequences of those decisions within reason and use those experiences as learning opportunities. Guide them in analyzing what went wrong and how they can make better choices in the future. This will give them the confidence to make better, more informed financial decisions.

 

What are some introductory concepts about investing that can be taught to children?

A few things come to mind when I think about teaching children concepts about investing. You can explain the concept of diversification in straightforward terms, such as not putting all your eggs in one basket when investing. Another concept is risk and reward. Teaching children about this concept would explain that different investments carry different levels of risk and help them understand that while some investments may offer higher returns, they also come with a higher level of risk. Still, the most essential concept is to teach patience about long-term investing. A child must understand that investing is not a get-rich-quick scheme but a long-term strategy. They need to realize that the value of investments can fluctuate in the short term, but historically, investments tend to grow in value over time.

 

How might parents encourage entrepreneurial thinking in their children?

Let’s start with curiosity! Help your kids develop a mindset of curiosity. Encourage them to seek new experiences, ask questions and learn about different subjects. Ask them to think creatively and develop innovative solutions to problems. Validate those ideas and help them develop their critical thinking skills. Help them explore activities and hobbies that align with their passions or sense of purpose. They need to understand that entrepreneurship can often be a way to turn their passion into a fulfilling career or business.

 

Can you recommend any specific resources or tools for teaching financial literacy to children?

Arvest has excellent resources in our EmpowerED Financial Education workshops geared to school-aged children, but there are many other resources. There are books, board games, online resources, apps, financial literacy programs and many other resources available to help promote financial literacy. Just remember to choose resources and tools that are age-appropriate and suitable for your child.

In addition to his role as sales manager at Arvest Bank – Central Arkansas, Brice Sisco is a member of the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas’s Board of Directors.

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