Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Living Responsibly

Elementary School Expert Advice from Barbara Potts

Q: At what age should my grandsons be expected to begin setting goals, using their time wisely, and saving money systematically?

A: The questions you ask are as closely related to environment as they are to a child's age. A child who is around adults and significant others who do well at these skills will learn from those role models and will begin to do those things himself. Many people grow to adulthood without learning to set goals, use time wisely, and save money.

In general, very young children (ages four to five) can be shown how to save money. As soon as a child is given an allowance or money for birthdays, he can be encouraged to save a portion of that money.

Setting goals -- such as making a 100 on a spelling test -- can be seen in children in the mid-elementary grades. But kids this age still need help in setting realistic goals - a child's career goal might be a combination of firefighter and neurosurgeon!

Using time wisely can still be troublesome for middle- and high-school students. Again, seeing the adults in their lives lead by example can show adolescents how to develop this skill.

All children can be encouraged to develop good habits. Setting a good example and helping your grandsons develop these traits gradually will lead to their becoming proficient in them.

More on: Expert Advice

Barbara Potts has worked as an elementary school counselor for many years. She has a BA in psychology from Wake Forest University, and an M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks


Healthy Smile Checklist for Kids
Have better dental check-ups with this free printable checklist that helps keep your child flossing, brushing, and smiling! Brought to you by Philips Sonicare.

Kindergarten Readiness App
It's kindergarten registration time! Use this interactive kindergarten readiness checklist, complete with fun games and activities, to practice the essential skills your child needs for this next big step. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

8 Easter Egg Decorating Ideas
Need some fun ideas for decorating Easter eggs with the kids? Look no further for colorful and cool designs!

7 Ways to Curb Kids' Exposure to Violence
American children are exposed to violence more often than you might think. Learn how to limit your child's exposure to violence and manage the mental health and behavioral effects it can cause.