On Intentional Modeling:
 An Exploration of Communicating Values Concerning Money and Generosity 
to Young Children by Their Parents Open Access

Swanson, Brett (Spring 2019)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/zs25x955j?locale=en


The role of a parent, or those functioning as such, in communicating values surrounding money and generosity is unrivaled in the life of a child. Studies show that children learn in a variety of ways yet, for the communication of values, one style of learning appears to be the most effective: modeling. Children learn values most reliably through an observation and participation in the actions of their parents, yet for all its educational possibilities, parents rarely approach this modeling intentionally. Such an abdication is rarely an issue of negligence, but a product of modeling itself and an illustration of its efficacy. To explore how modeled values about money and generosity are passed from parent to child, current parents of young children were interviewed regarding their childhood home and the lessons taught there by their parents. Using those recollections as a basis for their own exploration of values, parents were invited to consider the role intentional modeling might serve in instructing their children on money and generosity. The findings of these interviews illustrate that the modeled learning of values regarding money and generosity by parents to children remain with children throughout their lives despite the unintentionally of the instruction. Parents of young children who intentionally undergo modeled instruction of their values regarding money and generosity to their children offer a lasting values-rich understanding capable of lasting throughout life and into future generations. 

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