Why parents routinely raid their kids' piggy banks

The big issue is that often the money is taken on the sly. Some parents, anyway, reason that they are the ones who seeded the piggy bank or savings account in the first place. If the need is great enough, they don’t need permission to take it back. Yet an explanation of whether or when you will replace the money goes a long way. Simply confiscating your child’s funds sends the message that it’s okay to take whatever you need. Don’t be surprised to find your kids, as teens, lifting $10 bills from your purse or wallet.

Raiding the piggy bank without discussion also sends the signal that money is not something to talk about at home—which is an antiquated notion. Your kids will come of age in a time without financial safety nets and only limited job opportunity and security. They would benefit immensely from straight talk about saving, investing and budgets–and financial struggle.

Most parents (74%) avoid talking about money at home because they don’t want to worry the kids—not because they see themselves as financial failures with little knowledge to pass on (28%), T. Rowe Price found. So most parents would seem to have the ability to have this talk. Most (69%) also say they are concerned with setting a good financial example.