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Parents Favor Boys Over Girls on Money Matters

Brian O'Connell

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — Talk to most parents and they'll tell you there are no playing favorites with their kids. They're all loved and treated equally.

At least that's the idea. In reality, parents play favorites when it comes to certain child-rearing issues, and it seem that's the case on money matters, where sons get the lion's share of attention from mom and dad.

The numbers backing that sentiment up aren't overwhelming, but they are weighted more toward boys than girls in measuring parental involvement on money issues.

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According to the T. Rowe Price's Kids, Parents & Money Survey, 58% of sons between the ages of 8 and 14 say their parents talk with them about setting financial goals, versus 50% of daughters who say they have those conversations.

Parents seem to have a different mindset as well. The T. Rowe Price survey notes that 80% of parents with a son believe their child "understands the value of a dollar," compared with only 69% of parents with a girl.

Even kids seem to think boys are more knowledgeable about money issues than daughters. The study says 45% of boys feel "very or extremely smart about money compared to just 38% of girls."

Fortunately, this can be fixed.

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"Boys and girls should have the same opportunities to learn about money matters at home so they can grow into financially savvy adults," says Judith Ward, a senior financial planner at T. Rowe Price and a mother of two children. "If you want to invest in your kids' futures, start by talking to them about money matters weekly. The correlation between the frequency of conversations about money and kids' smart financial decision-making is undeniable."

Those conversations really work, T. Rowe Price says, with 58% of kids — boys and girls alike — saving for college on their own after parents discuss the matter with them, versus 23% who do the same without the benefits of that conversation.

In addition, talking to kids about the stock market and encouraging them to invest makes a difference. The survey reports that 81% of children whose parents discuss regularly how money can grow in the in the financial markets have their own college savings plan, versus 25% of children who don't discuss the stock market with their mom and dad.

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