Money Lessons for Kids from The Last Gold Coin

The third book in the Financial Fairy Tales series is The Last Gold Coin. The story revolves around a prince who  inherits a once prosperous kingdom close to ruin. The people look for others to blame and lack the skills or desire to take responsibility. While a simple act of kindness has magical consequences for the prince and his future.

In many ways its a case of life imitating art with the recent financial troubles in Ireland, Greece and other places around the world.

Enjoy this exclusive sample followed by ideas to help your children learn about money:

The Kingdom of Arum was a prosperous land full of gold.  The citizens spent their lives digging the precious metal from the ground and filling their vaults with  treasure.

As gold was very valuable, the people of Arum found themselves wealthy, although many of them became greedy and selfish. 

They always spent and never saved. Worse, they never shared their wealth.  There was always more gold to be found in the ground, so the people had few worries.

Until one day the gold ran out!

Not even King Henry, the most skilled miner in the Kingdom, could find a single nugget of the precious metal.

Thankfully, King Henry and his wife, Queen Alice, were wise.  They advised their citizens to save their gold and use it sparingly. 

The people of Arum didn’t listen; they frittered away their wealth until they had nothing left.

King Henry was saddened by his people’s carelessness.  He gave away a lot of his money but every day the people returned to the castle gates, begging for more.

He was determined that his only son, Prince Leon, would never become so foolish.  He taught Leon how to save his money and how to bargain well.  He taught him how to share his money with those in need, who wouldn’t waste it. 

He wanted to be sure that one day his son would be a wise ruler. So Henry sent Leon to explore the Land of Argent, instructing him to come back in a year’s time.  It was King Henry’s hope that his son would learn the ways of the neighbouring  Kingdoms and thus learn how to reverse the folly that overcame Arum.

Prince Leon travelled the world with one purse of gold, spending it only when  necessary.  He bought food and shelter and was content to live simply.   During his travels, he learned many valuable skills, how to farm, to weave and to carve wood.  When the year came to a close, he headed home.

When he was only a day’s journey away from Arum, he came across a frail old woman.  She sat in tattered clothing against the side of an inn, holding an empty cup.

“Please sir, I’ve been robbed.  Could you spare a coin so I can eat?”

Although she asked several people, everyone passed her by. 

Prince Leon noticed the bruises on her face and the hole in her purse and realised the woman spoke the truth and really did need his help.  So, he placed his last three coins in her cup.

The wizened lady held his hand in hers and, to his surprise, she transformed. The old woman turned into a beautiful maiden before his eyes and she blessed him before disappearing into the night.

Key Money Lessons for Children

Money Management—the importance of saving and paying yourself first

Diversification—generating multiple streams of income

Responsibility—take charge of your own financial future

Learn Money Making Skills—follow successful examples

Charity—there is always someone less  fortunate than yourself

Enjoy the full story of The Last Gold Coin by purchasing here

Canadians Call for Greater Financial Literacy

A national survey conducted for the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) finds that many Canadians are in difficult financial circumstances or making financial decisions that threaten their long-term prosperity.

The survey by Harris Decima also finds the majority respondents believe financial literacy education must start at an early age. More than eight of every ten (84 per cent) Canadians believe young people are ill-prepared to manage their finances when they enter the workforce and 85 per cent believe that financial management skills should be taught in schools to help solve this problem.
Survey Highlights:

Financial education for children and teenagers – Seventy-eight per cent of Canadian parents have attempted to teach their children financial management skills, but two-thirds (60 per cent) believe they have not been very successful; how best to teach their children ranks second among the most sought after financial literacy skills. Note: Tips on minimizing taxes was the first.

 – While Canadians believe that parents or guardians have the primary responsibility for teaching their children about money and that schools should teach financial management skills, a strong majority also believes that the financial services industry (75 per cent) and governments (68 per cent) also bear responsibility for ensuring that children and teenagers learn basic financial decision making skills.

Rising debt levels threaten prosperity – Thirty-four per cent of people surveyed reported carrying over a monthly balance on their credit cards and, among them, 55 per cent intend to carry forward a balance over the next month.

 – More than one in ten Canadians (12 per cent) have borrowed to cover day-to-day living expenses, and half of them still owe against these loans.

Retirement saving rates insufficient – Of those 55 or older, 40 per cent reported they have not saved enough for their retirement.

– Among those planning to retire in the next five years, 32 per cent believe they have not saved enough to retire on.

A survey summary report is available online at www.cica.ca/flsurvey2010.

Are Bedtime Stories Brainwashing Kids?

For hundreds of years, parents have known that bedtime stories help kids relax and fall asleep more easily. Bedtime stories can also help develop reading skills and in emotional child development but were you aware that they also act as a form of hypnosis? In which case the content of some of the stories we share with our children may need to be re-examined.

Brain research has revealed that there are 4 main wavelengths or types of brainwaves, divided into speed ranges or patterns (cycles per second or hertz (Hz)): these are Delta, Theta, Alpha and Beta. Delta being the longest and slowest brainwave at 0.5 – 4 Hz, while Beta brainwaves are much shorter and faster at 13 – 30 Hz.

As adults we spend most of our ‘normal’ awake, consciousness in the alert faster Beta state. When we are dreaming, in deep hypnosis, meditating, or “in the zone” such as occasionally occurs in sports or music, we enter the slower Theta state. This also happens as we are drifting into sleep and just as we are waking up.

Personal development experts tell us that these are the most effective times to repeat affirmations, use visualisation or review our goals. Because we are in the Theta state, the positive messages get past the filters of the conscious mind and can plant helpful suggestions directly into the subconscious.

When a child is between the ages of 2 and 6, their brainwaves are predominantly in the Theta state, which helps explains their rich imagination and creativity at this stage of child development.

From six to twelve years of age, children’s brainwaves accelerate to the Alpha state.

As adults the Alpha state occurs when we meditate, daydream or enter the lighter states of hypnosis or what’s known as ‘highway hypnosis’ as you may have experienced when you drift off when driving a familiar route.

What this means is that children between 2 and 12 therefore, are commonly in the same brainwave states as adults are when in hypnosis, meditation or day dreaming. Which are precisely the states where we become most suggestible.

What makes this even more important is that bedtime stories are the last thing your child will hear before falling asleep and will play in the subconscious part of their mind all night.

During the golden age of child development, where they unquestionably believes in magic, Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy, parents have a great opportunity to condition their kids for maximum success. Or, on the contrary, careless, negative words and influences can become harmful hypnotic suggestions that form powerful obstacles to the developing personality.

“Perhaps, the best way to understand the importance of bedtime stories is to look back and recall some of your own favourite stories from childhood,” says Sandra Dye, Psychotherapist and Child Expert, Developer of the: 5-Step Parenting System – Stay Connected To Have Influence. “As an adult, you may even notice that some of the messages in your favourite stories have played out in your life in some instrumental way.”

What becomes clear therefore is the need to be very aware of the suggestions we are giving our children that will have an effect on their adult life. Are you for example through bedtime stories, suggesting to your children that the world is full of opportunity or a scary place?

Consider carefully the positive beliefs and values that you would wish your children to grow up with. Whether developing their self image, confidence or their understanding about what is possible or beyond their reach. Positive, empowering messages will create positive, empowering beliefs.

The Financial Fairy Tales series of books have been written to help empower children through the discovery of positive values and life affirming messages around money and business. Through positive messages and inspiring stories they can help your child grow up with supportive values and beliefs to influence the rest of their lives.