Most of us look at money as evil.
Nothing wrong with this. This is due to our nature and our nurture. But the real person with Growth Mindset is the one who accepts the short comings and changes his life.
Schools have good intention. But ‘money’ as a subject is never taught in school. We are never taught how to budget, how to save money and so on. These are the tasks that are mostly DIY.
But how better our society would be if our kids have access to learn about money early in their lives?
This is the exact topic of this episode.
In this episode of the podcast, you will learn:
- Why ‘money’ as a subject is not taught in schools?
- Role of money in our lives!
- Why you should teach about money to kids at an early age?
- What’s the mission of the Kids Finance Initiative?
- Entrepreneurial lessons learned by Marilyn Pinto!
About the expert: Marilyn Pinto
Marilyn Pinto is the founder of ‘Kids Finance Initiative based in Dubai. She’s a passionate educator whose mission is to raise financially literate kids.
Deepak Machado 0:00
I remember growing up, that money was always a taboo topic in my family, and in the culture that I grew up in generally. So we always seemed to come from a place of lack. And we never had this kind of abundance mindset. That has changed within me since. However, I wanted to give my kids something better. So when I came across an initiative by today's speaker, I quickly enrolled my son in that. So my son has come out of that with great knowledge that I'm happy to say. And it has changed him fundamentally. Today's episode is about money and how to raise financially smart kids. And Marilyn Pinto is my guest. Marlon Brando runs kids finance initiative, a great, great initiative, I would say that she has undertaken and I'm so happy that my son attended it and I'm sure you will find loads of value in today's episode. So let's get into that.
Today's topic is very dear to my heart, and it's called money. We will learn today about how to raise financially smart kids with Marilyn Pinto. Marilyn is the founder of kids finance initiative. A program which my son has attended in the past and has gained immensely and a greater gift is when asked my son, 'What gift he'd like to have for his 11th birthday. And he mentioned that why don't you invest the money? Isn't that profound? Marilyn, welcome to Success 10 X podcast.
Marilyn Pinto 1:55
Thanks, Deepak, nice to be here. Thank you for having me.
Deepak Machado 1:58
Let me get straight to the point. Modern schools, they never taught about money. Why is that so?
Marilyn Pinto 2:05
If I had the answer to that question, life would be a whole lot simpler for for many of us. I don't know why they don't do it. I can tell you that it is something that everybody is recognizing that is something that should be done. But there isn't, but you're absolutely right. There isn't a single school anywhere in the world that does enough to teach kids about money. It doesn't matter what curriculum UK us curriculum your kids go to which school which country, schools don't teach kids about money, what their what they do teach or if you ask them, they say, well, we teach kids economics, we teach them Business Studies, you know, but it's not the same thing. The Business Studies and economics don't teach you how to handle your own money. I mean, I've done to business programs, I've you know, I've had to do MBA programs. And I can tell you that they taught me absolutely nothing about handling your personal money, which is just a sad commentary on our business schools. But that is the truth. And I thought things would have changed now. And so I went recently went back and you know, went through all of these schools back again, just to check that the curriculum really has become innovative and sustainable, and everything else that schools talk about. And unfortunately, they're studying the same thing that we studied, you know, 2030 years ago, it's the exact same curriculum, with just a few bits here added for online marketing or something. But in the crux of it, they haven't really changed what they are teaching our kids. They didn't do it back then. And they haven't included that now, either.
Deepak Machado 3:24
So how do you teach? Or how do you educate kids about money?
Marilyn Pinto 3:29
teaching kids about money is about a lot more than money. In fact, not much of it is about money at all. teaching kids about money is a lot more about understanding what delayed gratification is what impulse control is, what is the psychology of money, which is what we start with, we start with a mindset. And because you see most people when they teach kids about money, that's exactly what you mentioned they do they start with directly financial capability, how much is money and what is it used for and you know, how you can calculate compound interest but being financially literate is much more than just financial knowledge. It's also your behavior and your attitude which which is actually much more important than your knowledge. Right? Any you can get knowledge at any but if you don't actually behave differently with that knowledge, it's kind of comes to not so our programs take into account everything, your behavior, your attitude, as well as your financial knowledge, we cover all three aspects. And this I believe, is what makes us so different from the other financial education programs out there because we don't just focus on financial knowledge we don't just focus on the house. We tell you why we tell you we get into talking to kids about why it's important to learn it and why if you behave this way your your entire life trajectory will change. So so we do get across not just one aspect, but three different aspects of it.
Deepak Machado 4:42
So money I've seen is mostly considered a taboo topic inside a family as well as in a broader society. People don't talk about money so much, because people I believe, have a some some negativity in their mind that it's hard to earn money or hard to make money. You know, so What is what is your role to change this kind of mentality in our society?
Marilyn Pinto 5:05
Firstly, I have to say that you're absolutely right, we have been conditioned by society to believe that money is a bad thing that people who are rich aren't good. And that is that is part of our social conditioning. It's a, it's a very strong, it's a very strong aspect of our society. And that's precisely what we are trying to break. Because it is it doesn't serve us, it doesn't serve us to think that money is bad, it doesn't serve us to think that we should not be rich, because rich people are bad. And it is really funny how kids as young as 10, and 11, have that same kind of conditioning that rich people are bad or it is it is ridiculous. And that's what the first thing that we try to break out of, because you can't achieve something that you demonize in your head, if you demonize being rich, you're never going to achieve that. So the first thing that we do is actually attack that mindset and show them that this having this kind of mindset does not serve you. And I think it's really important for us to teach our kids that.
Deepak Machado 5:58
So tell me something about your initiative with the kids finance initiative. How did it start? Why did you start? And what is your mission? Where are you going with it?
Marilyn Pinto 6:09
It started initially, because we didn't, I have two kids of my own. And I at that time, realized that they needed to learn about money, but they weren't being taught about it. So I didn't actually intend to start a business, I wanted to teach them about money. So I went to look for a place that I could enroll them in a classroom, everything out there was didn't really make much sense I I could see that they were only focusing on one aspect. And I that's when I thought I would start this because to teach my kids and for any other kids who would like to, you know, because as I looked around, it wasn't just my kids who were clueless about money, we had everybody's skills with everybody else's kids were in the same situation. So it was an idea that we take this and so other people's kids could benefit.
Deepak Machado 6:54
What's your submission with this, where are you trying to go with kids finance initiative.
Marilyn Pinto 6:59
So I really believe that this education that we're giving the kids can change their life can and will dramatically change their lives. And I am speaking from personal experience. I mean, I think all of us would know that if we'd known about this when we were 12 or 13. How different would our lives be if we had just caught this knowledge earlier? But yet, unfortunately, most of us, you know, did trial and error. And we only figured this out in our mid 30s or something and your son, you said, How old is your son again?
Deepak Machado 7:26
He's 11 now
Marilyn Pinto 7:27
he's 11. He's talking about what he knows about investing. I mean, if we had that knowledge, if we had started investing at that at when we were legally eligible to invest, which is at 18, how different Do you think our financial lives would be now? And this is precisely the kind of education the kind of knowledge that we want kids to do. We want teens everywhere to make sure that they understand that it is so much more relevant in context today. Because I mean, if there ever was a poster child for financial education, just look at 2020. Right? looking at that, looking back at that, do you realize that everybody was not in a position to handle the to handle the financial drawback of that, and this is something that is, and our kids have seen that firsthand, they've seen the job losses, they've seen the lack of emergency funds, they've seen the blue, the booming consumer debt, all of which is something that we need to save them from. Because if we don't teach them, they're going to go down the same route, that we did make the same stupid mistakes, learning the same stupid strategy of trial and error, there is a smarter way to do it, we can just teach them a safer way, we can just teach them an easier way, we can just teach them a way that doesn't require them to risk their entire lives career happiness based on something that we already learned what we think they have figured it out by themselves. And that is something that we are very keen to actually bring this to as many teams as possible by working through schools by by working through larger initiatives with financial institutions as well to bring it to more people.
Deepak Machado 8:48
Yeah, great. You said you have two kids? What change Have you seen in them once you started educating them about you know, money? And how....was it challenging for you on your part? Did they accept it in the first place? Were they receptive enough to the idea of money? How did what was your experience you might have learned from it And then you want to go to the society, right?
Marilyn Pinto 9:15
Yeah, well, firstly, I thought, well, this is easy. I got a curriculum, I figured it out. And so I can teach my kids it's not not a big deal. But that was such a disaster because I realized that kids don't learn from their own parents. I mean, I can teach 1000s of other kids but I can't really teach my own kids anything they won't list. There's just like, deep sighs and idols and Oman, we always have to talk about serious stuff. So they don't learn from me. And I realized that it's a proximity bias that people do. We don't learn from people who are closest to us. So but when I did put them to the program, I mean, I didn't teach them but they were taught by other members of my team, I did see a difference. They come back to me and say, you know, we learned this today, and it's amazing. I never knew about this and I'd be like, hang on a second. When I told you the same thing. You had no reaction but you hear it in class. And you come back and suddenly, you know, it won't make sense to you. But I have seen a very big change, I have to say they are so much more they actually correct me now they they, you see, because even though I technically know what to do, I still do the wrong things because I learned the right way too late. You see, that's why a lot of people ask me, do you have classes for grownups? And I said, No, I don't, because it's you. You can't learn this. So it needs to be hardwired in you when you're young, then I, when I teach young children, I see a change in their behavior, I see a change in the way they're thinking because this information is hardwired into them. You teach someone who's in their mid 30s, or 40s. And they'll smile. And we'll say, yeah, it's good, we should change but we don't really change. I see, I see so many instances of my kids actually making smarter money decisions or correcting me or questions. You know, I don't see why maybe this is a better way. And they are right. You know, so I, I definitely have seen a huge difference. And, and not just me, I've you know, we've interviewed so many parents whose kids come to the program and, and they say the same thing I've done, my kids are now correcting or telling me to invest or this getting this kind of questioning from your kids is something that is it's just, it's amazing. I think that after your kids can ask you intelligent questions about money and investing and just getting into that whole thing, which is something that they weren't interested in before. But now they are, they are now super interested in that. And, and we have completely revamped the program as well, we do another program for teens on investing where we teach them. Again, it is long term wealth building, because it's not about trading. It's not about stock stock picking it is long term investment. And just to get them into the mindset of an investor. That's long term, wealth building, I start right now. And you know, it's going to be slow and steady, but I am definitely going to win the race. So that kind of mindset to instill in a child is so important. And I think definitely, as a whole society can benefit from more kids having that having that kind of mindset,
Deepak Machado 11:54
I've seen to grade changes in my son The moment he attended your classes. The next thing you asked me was Dad, do you have a credit card? I was happy that he was asking these questions, you know, because at the at the heart of it, I mean, in deep within me, I was thinking about myself my childhood, I never asked these kind of questions. So he asked me, Do you have a credit card? do you have? Do you? Why do you use credit card? Do you get points on that? Did you redeem the points and all this? And the another great question that he asked, which I still remember is, before buying anything a bit expensive, let's say gadget, Dad, do we need this? Or do we want this? I was late amazed? Yeah. I mean, I was my mind was blown. First of all, I just didn't show my emotions. But I was very happy that he attended this class. And now even today, he asks regularly, right? Dad are we saving...are you saving? I mean, all this kind of I feel happy, you know, after you know, attending these classes, so thank you for that, first of all.
Marilyn Pinto 12:58
No, that's also it's part of because what we do with the kids is not just teach them, what we then do is get them to ask questions of the parents, because see, we have them, you know, five hours a program is five hours. But this is what what we can do is engage the parents in it as well. And the way to engage parents is to get the kids to ask the question. So what kind of credit card to use? Why do you have three? What is the logic behind it? Do you have debt on it? Do you have unpaid balances on it? Can I can I can you show me how I mean? We've learned how to read a credit card statement? Can I see what it looks like in real life? So all of these questions with asking intelligent questions is an extremely effective way to learn. And that's why we encourage kids to go and we actually give the scripts we tell them okay, for this for every topic that we teach them at the end, the thing is to go back and ask the parents about it. And that really gets them thinking they know that, oh, this isn't something we are learning which we can use, you know, when we grow up and graduate, something we can use right now. And I'm so glad to hear you say that mainly because when they say is this a want? Or is it neat? Because we tell them to drill it into them. This homework is not for today. It's not for this week, this is your lifetime homework. Every time you buy something every time you see somebody else buying something, always ask yourself the question, is it a need? Or is it a want? Because that is the fundamental reason why people go off the real fundamental reason why they overspend fundamental reason why they get into debt. So if we can, you know, forget about teaching our kids to get out of debt, we want to teach our kids not to get into debt in the first place. to really evaluate why they need no, we tell them there's good debt and bad debt. But firstly, evaluate why you need it in the first place. So I am so so happy as a as an educator, it makes my heart sing to hear you say that it's
Deepak Machado 14:36
Yeah, and other than like you just know, mentioned about good debt and bad debt. He was asking that Do you have a loan? Fortunately, I didn't have any loan at the time. Yeah, so Marilyn, what is the right, right age for for children to for our for us parents to start educating them about money. You said your program starts at eight.
Marilyn Pinto 15:00
Yes, our program starts at eight. But you can always start talking to I mean, kids from their money mindset by the age of six, okay that by then, but they already have an understanding of the concept and stuff so, but typically Yes, we start at eight, and that the women when we say seven and eight, like I think the sweet spot to teach kids is is really before they turn teenagers. Because when they become teens, then they know everything right. So it's very difficult to teach them they have a lot of unlearning to do when they. So I would say the sweet spot to teach them is actually before they before they become teenagers. That means that you know, the 10 1112. This age, their enthusiasm is high, the Curiosity is high, they learn quickly, when by the time they become teenagers. And we've seen this later that kids come to us and more difficulties than for them to learn because they have to unlearn so many things that they've done before. But if they come to us before the age of 12, we have a chance to it's the first window of learning some most it's a widest window that's available to you, I would say get your kids into for the age of 12. Because you need to get that first window of learning open then every subsequent window, it becomes more and more difficult. That's why I say by the time you are a grown up your your window of learning is very narrow. the broadest window folding is but by which I mean that the kids learn fastest and learn most effectively is the first 11 years. So that is a really crucial way to teach kids and a time to teach kids as well.
Deepak Machado 16:24
Yes. So my son is into he likes to save money wherever it is possible. Five dirhams here two dirhams there. So he had collected around a sizable for his age roughly around 2000 drums in the year 2018 I think so I just added teasing him, just give me your money, I will invest it. Give me a man and watch it. So I did invest it. I invested in little in, in Bitcoin and little in you know in stocks like Tesla. So he keeps asking me nowadays every two days, what is the value of my investment? I feel happy that he asks me about this. What happened to his money? How is it? Can I do do plan to invest more? I feel very happy about that.
Marilyn Pinto 17:12
That is that's exactly what I keep telling parents. I'm not saying that at the end of our program, our children are financial biscuits. That's not what we want. What I want them is that switch to go up in their head that, yes, I need to I need to be interested in this topic, it's going to affect me, I need to be aware about this, I need to be a lot more conscious about my money decisions. If you can say that your kid has ticked these boxes, and that's all you need at this stage. Everything else will come, you know, everything else would be so much easier for them to learn. But just getting that mental awareness switch, you know, sort of clicked on that that is the most important thing that we try to do for kids that age.
Deepak Machado 17:46
You also speak about entrepreneurship in kids. Can you tell us more about that?
Marilyn Pinto 17:51
Yeah, we do. But I particularly also tell them that because everybody wants, every kid wants to be an entrepreneur, every kid wants to study entrepreneurship, but I keep telling them that financial literacy is the bedrock of entrepreneurship. And without being financially illiterate, you cannot be you cannot be an entrepreneur. And that's one thing that's actually missing. We have a lot of schools, a lot of organizations that teach kids entrepreneurship. And if you look to their curriculum, they teach you everything, like how to recruit a CEO how to prototype your product, how to pitch for investing, but what they don't teach you is a module on financial literacy. They don't care, it's not part of their thing. And I think I am completely of the opposite opinion, I think that knowing about money is the most crucial bit about being an entrepreneur, because a very tiny percentage of people, just a fraction of people are going to be actually, you know, get seed investing from investors, most of you are going to have to bootstrap your business yourself. And if you can't handle your own money, that's the that is a recipe for disaster. So we do teach kids about entrepreneurship, but what we teach them is first we don't we recommend that they come through the financial literacy program before that. And we give them a real, like understanding of what entrepreneurship is, because then you ask is why do you want to be an entrepreneur? These are the five top reasons that I got, and I'm not making this up. These are actual answers I've got from kids who have it. Why do they want to be an entrepreneur? I don't want to wear a tie to work. I don't want to go to work from nine to five. I want to go on holiday whenever I want to. I want to wear shorts to work. These are not reasons to be not this is a book maybe sometimes in a little bit of an entrepreneurs life. But I wouldn't say these are reasons to be entrepreneur so kids don't understand. They just think that Mark Zuckerberg he wears a hoodie and he looks cool all the time. And that that's you know, he walks out of his hole. That is what we want to instill in kids is a deeper meaning of entrepreneurship. What do you have to offer? How are you serving the world? How What What idea? Do you have to make the world a better place? What idea Do you have to make somebody's life easier and better? That is our idea of entrepreneurship that we want to teach kids idealistic, yes, but I think you need to be idealistic with kids. That is something that they have so much to offer that they need to understand that it's a tough journey, and they need to be very convinced that this is something they want to do and They also need to see the value that they are offering. And that is part of what we teach them. Yeah.
Deepak Machado 20:06
Thank you, Marilyn. What is the what is one of the great testimonials that you have received from a kid? parents? Definitely. Yes. So what is it? What are one of the greatest moments you receive from your students? If you can pick
Marilyn Pinto 20:22
for me, the kids? I can I just read one to you. Yeah, she just got mine. I just finished a class the other day, and I will read that to you. Hold on. You want from the kids? Not from the parents? Okay. Yep. Let me tell you. Okay, guys, kid's name of delays, like Thank you Miss for this amazing program, I will be sure to recommend it to everyone I know, I learned more than five hours then my entire life, which is approximately 126,219 126 290 hours. And he puts in bracket if Google is correct, what an extraordinary and needed program. You've made fun and interesting lessons that all kids need. I'm excited for the Superman program. This is just one I got yesterday.
Deepak Machado 21:03
Nice. Thank you for that. One. And I want to talk about a bit away from the main topic today about your own failures in life. At what point did you feel very low when you failed? and What kept you going? What's your goal of creating this new, entirely new program, which nobody has may or may not have tried? When in the past? No school is doing it? So what made you keep going towards this mission? are continuing with this mission? Did you have a low point in your journey of entrepreneurship yourself? and What kept you going?
Marilyn Pinto 21:39
It's a really good question. For one, I think I didn't like it. When I mentioned before i didn't i didn't intend to start a business. So I didn't really think it through like if you ask me, what was your detailed plan, and I didn't have it just like, I know that this is needed. And I went out and I did it. The low points well, as being an entrepreneur, you get kicked in the you know, kicked in the in the gut every couple of weeks. And I think maybe I think after the first month I started I was thinking I said this is such a bad idea. Because I wasn't getting any traction. The schools are telling me stuff like, yeah, you can offer it as an extracurricular activity. But I was competing with every other supplier who's offering golf and skiing and you know, whatever. I mean, kids nowadays have 60 activities to choose from. And I really thought I said, This is such a bad idea. Why was I doing this? I could have just taught my kids and be done with it. And I wouldn't say it happened just once it happens, but five to six times a year that I think, what am I doing? Because it's been really hard. The last four years have been hard. Remember, we started a time when nobody was talking about financial education? It was a lot of people, you know, I got a lot of blowback from parenting. Why do we need to teach our kids about money? Why are we you know, ruining their innocence in their childhood? I'm like, you need to teach your kids this now, because you need to hide by them. You can't You can't do this when they're grown up. But, yeah, so this is this is part of it, I think, maybe a couple of times a year, I guess. Maybe this isn't right. But on the whole, it seems, seems good.
Deepak Machado 23:10
Thanks for sharing Marilyn. One suggestion that you may have for parents, what would that be on money or anything else?
Marilyn Pinto 23:18
Would be to realize that the steps that you take now will have a dramatic effect in your children's financial future. And a lot of parents will think that, okay, it's not going to make a difference. But that's that's the first part of our principle is just a realization that anything that you do now to change that is going to dramatically affect the financial future. We sometimes tend to not think about it in that way. But it is very true like using you sent your kid for a program. How much of value do you think that has added to him that has changed his way of thinking that has that has changed the way he he acts and the way he the way he believes? I keep telling the students in my class, I'm like, you know, if someone had given me like, you know, here you go, you take a million dirhams now, or you can go back to the age of 15, where you had that knowledge, what would you choose? I wouldn't choose a million because I know I could make so much more. And I had this knowledge when I was 15. And all the kids were like, yeah, we don't want a million dollars. When we are middle aged, we want to we want the knowledge now because we know you can make so much more. And this is the question I ask every class so what would you take being middle aged and then getting a million dollars a speaker or getting this knowledge now when you are young, and everybody by the end of the class realizes that this program is worth is worth so much more.
Deepak Machado 24:29
From your experience? What can a parent do to increase the curiosity in the child?
Marilyn Pinto 24:34
The first thing is that realization once you realize that, okay, every time I whatever I do is going to have an effect on him. That just changes your mindset as well. Because if you think there's nothing that I can do to change that, you have to realize that that every tiny step that you take is going to have such a dramatic effect on them. The other thing I would say is don't overestimate how much your kids know, I know it's tough for us as parents we tend to think our kids are smart and they might be academically be smarter than that. But they don't learn this in school. And they're not going to figure this out by themselves without making really stupid mistakes. So a lot of I see so many parents come to me and say, Oh, my kid has read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, my kid knows about stock investing. And I see these kids when they actually come to the program. They're clueless, they know, absolutely nothing. That is the typical Dunning Kruger effect. We know little, so our confidence is very high. But the more and I've seen parents who come and say, Listen, my kids know absolutely nothing, please, even though he's 13, I want him to start with a basic level. And these are the kids who know a lot, they actually are quite, are quite well informed. It's It's such a typical example of the Dunning Kruger effect that the more they know, the less competent they are, but the little they know, their confidence is sky high. So I would say don't underestimate, don't don't overestimate your kids knowledge and not getting it from anywhere else. What they aren't getting it from is their peer group who are equally clueless, or from influences who are don't have your kids best interest at heart. So that is something that that is very key. The second thing I would say is, is really relate to them. If you start talking to your kids about pension and mortgages, they've switched off because they think they cannot even see themselves 5060 years down the line. And if you start saying oh, you need to save for your pension, they just go like, I have no idea what you're talking about. I'm not interested my mentally switched off already. So what we do is make it very relatable to teens make it so that okay, you're buying your first car, or this is your first job or this is what you need to buy. This they can understand this they can relate to so make it really, really relatable. And to talk in like, you know, most of us tend to when we tend to talk to our kids, we get into lecture mode, you should not do this, you should save you should that, I would say and then they switch off as well. The women you talk to kids, you need to wrap it around in a story. So talk about a woman who is if for example, you know, last year they had this story in the good news that this woman was, I think she was earning about seven and a half 1000 dirhams salary and she ran out credit card bills of over a million dirhams. Now you tell a kid that story. They're like, What? How did she do that? What was she thinking? What happened to her? By telling them a story. You see, as humans, we are hardwired to listen to stories. We love it. And as kids, they love it so much more. So when you wrap up your experience or your advice in a story, suddenly they're the ones asking the questions. They're the one who wants to know more. And it makes such a big difference. And also don't start any story with when I was young. Because
Deepak Machado 27:25
I'm ....I'm a culprit of that not a victim culprit of
Marilyn Pinto 27:30
all of us, which is why I'm giving you advice based on maybe a lot of the mistakes that I see myself making as well. So it's
Deepak Machado 27:37
My son doesn't relate it...because he's the way and I was in a small village in India. So he doesn't
Marilyn Pinto 27:43
think like oh, my goodness, my parents live with the dinosaurs, because they kept saying that they've worked hard, or whatever it is, they cannot relate to our lives when we were young, it just is so different to them. So they don't have to we can we can teach them in so many different ways, and a much more effective ways as well.
Deepak Machado 27:59
The other day, my son shares a meme with me that when I was going to school and with dinosaurs, my dad is saying like this, you know, this kind of memes?
Marilyn Pinto 28:09
Yeah, that's very true. Yeah.
Deepak Machado 28:11
So tell us more about kids finance Institute. Sorry, Kids Finance Initiative. And what kind of trainers do we have?
Marilyn Pinto 28:22
Okay, so the teachers have had in this program are specially trained, I want. And I'm not just going to say educational qualifications, I don't mean that they are credentials, because that they obviously have your master's degrees in some field or the other. They've been teaching for many years. But more than that, we look for the art teachers or people who can connect, you know, I, because I, I'm a firm believer that kids don't have a favorite subject, or they have as a favorite teacher, if I like the teacher, I like the subject. I don't like the teacher, I don't care how great or how smart the teacher is, I'm not going to and we've seen that it doesn't matter what its child is seven or 17, or 27. We all relate to people. If the person who's teaching you really connects with you really understands you feel a feel a connection with them, you want to learn and with kids, this works like a charm. So we get the pre train our teachers to actually build that connection with students. And one of the first if you get feedback from all the kids, the first thing is I love the teacher. I'm like, Yeah, but how is the program? I love the teacher. You see, but that's exactly what we want. Because if they like the teacher, then they're going to do anything. The teacher says, if they give them homework, if they're given an interview for them to do they happily want to do that. So for us that it's not just the educational qualifications that count I think that's probably the least important. But we do see teachers who really want to connect with kids on a personal level, make sure that every kid is seen to we don't just cater to the top, you know that like the cream of the class. But as every kid in the class is equally important to make sure that everybody gets value from it. It's not for us. It's 100% is that top 20% has never has never been equation with us. It's always been. It's always been all of the kids in the class. In fact, we just did a project For a school and I told the school I said, You know what? Send me your five most difficult kids don't send me the smartest kids don't send me the ones who are talking. Send me the five most difficult kids who you feel, don't engage in class at troublesome to all the teachers, everybody wants to kick them out. I send me those kids. And I did the program and they were part of a bigger group. And I did the thinking. I said, I think she didn't listen to me. She's I told her to send me the most difficult kids and I Mmm, I'm telling my husband. I don't know why she didn't listen, I asked her for the most difficult gifts. And she sent me like super smart kids. I met that lady today. And I asked her, I said, why did why did you send me the I told you to send me your difficulties. And she said, I did send you the difficulties. Those kids are kids that teachers don't want to they don't want in their class. They don't engage. They don't talk and I said, are we even talking about the same kids? They were super talkative. I had to shut them up in class. They were super talkative, super engaged. And she says, Yes, I know. They came back and told me. So. I think the way we teach doesn't disconnect with some we have in fact, kids who don't usually do well in school, they love our classes. They just absolutely we have kids whose parents told us, you know, but my kid has got ADHD, but he loves your class. And he said, Your kiddo ADHD, I talk to your kid, I don't know what you're talking about. And this has happened so many times that parents who tell us Oh, but my kid has ADHD. But in fact, I don't see it. They just label this way in school because they are bored. Of course, they're bored. If you expected 910 year old to sit for one hour just listening to you and droning about something across the board. You need to engage with them in a way that they feel so and when they then when they are fidgety, they say they're ADHD, which is really sad, because I had three parents in this one meeting, I had this one parent meeting, where they were only about eight to 10 parents. Those three parents told me that their kids with ADHD and I call the teacher and I said, See, I said, Do you know any kids? I said, Do you have any ADHD kids in your class and she said, Hello to talking about. And the parents are sitting there as a DC. It's not just me, because I talk to your kids. But she's the one taking the class right now. And she's saying there are no kids who have ADHD. So I that's the kind of connection I mean, that kids who are usually very difficult with in class, and who will teach it who normal teachers think, oh, my goodness, kids is a disaster. We love those kids, because we can see the change. And we can see that the way we teach them really resonates with them.
Deepak Machado 32:13
Yeah, great, great hearing this Marilyn. What programs do you offer right now to kids? And given the current situation do you offer in person or is it remote programs?
Marilyn Pinto 32:25
we don't do in person classes anymore Deepak, all our classes are online now. But again, we only moved our classes online when we were 100% sure that the we could give the same quality that we did online as we did in the person class. So we have interactive groups, you have small class groups, they go into breakout rooms is really in fact, kids really love it. And parents love it as well, because it saves them the trouble of actually coming somewhere dropping their kid waiting for two hours. And you know, that's what you did when when you when you're setting up the program. Now, it's all online. It's really, it's, it's completely, completely online. It's really convenient. And that's what we do. So aside from the money management program that we that we teach kids, we have a program called Superman, which is our, I think, our most popular program. It's a program that teaches kids how to learn. So in school, kids learn what to learn, like, you know, math, or science or history, but how much of your school life and we spent 1819 years in school, how much of your school life they taught you how to learn? What's the best way to learn something? What's the best way to remember how do you boost your brain power? What's the best way to revise? Nothing like we didn't learn that we spent our entire time learning only what to learn. So this program teaches kids how to it's like, basically like upgrading their studying and learning strategies. It's just like an upgrade. And I had, because there are ways that we can do that. But we aren't taught this in school. And this is possibly I would say our most loved program because kids just love it. We teach them memory tricks. We teach them how to remember stuff, we teach them how to revise quickly, we show them different study strategies, which is really amazing. And I've seen I mean, I've had medical student kids come and attend this program as well, because they have a lot. The thing is our kids are using the same study strategies in in college that they are using in grade four and five and six, which is read and reread and read and reread again. And that's how I think I'm learning. This is it's it's efficient, it doesn't, it doesn't teach you anything. In fact, it's detrimental to your learning. So what we teach them are scientifically based strategies, study strategies that will actually help people. And it's something that they find super helpful and super fun as well to the program. So that's that's what we do.
Deepak Machado 34:34
So learning to learn is I mean, that is what I believe to be taught.
Marilyn Pinto 34:39
How to that let's think that's exactly what the Supermind Program is about learning how to learn.
Deepak Machado 34:44
Pretty exciting. Merlin, Merlin, if somebody wants to reach you, where can where can they find you?
Marilyn Pinto 34:50
We're on Facebook at kids finance initiative. We're on Instagram as well. LinkedIn personally be Maryland Pinto or my email. addresses, we can just you know, if you go to our website, which is kids finance initiative.com, you can, there's a contact us button there, which will, which will give you all of our contact details, our numbers, our email address, everything is on there on our website. That's kids finance initiative.com.
Deepak Machado 35:17
I will mention these in the show notes, and also on the website, our website, Marilyn any parting words for parents,
Marilyn Pinto 35:25
Start Now and make sure your kids don't repeat the same mistakes of our generation because we really can't afford that. You don't want that I don't want that. And nobody does. So I would say, really, I'm not saying Come to me, I'm saying go somewhere, do something, just make sure it gets done, this topic is too important for us to hope that they will figure it out on their own hope is not a strategy, you need to show them how to do it. And you need to give them a very clear cut cut part in terms of this is how you get to that point. So like I said, it doesn't have to be our program, just make sure you enroll them in some financial education program, because it's going to make this is a life changing skill. And I say that every bit of honesty that really having this skill can be life changing in so many ways.
Deepak Machado 36:10
Thank you, Marilyn. This has been a great conversation with you. I also learned a lot from your mindset. And to whoever the parents listening out there, please...I have gained as a as a dad from this program through my son who has attended this program by Marilyn Pinto and her team. I definitely would like you to check out this program. And Marilyn, thank you for your time. Let's keep in touch.
Marilyn Pinto 36:33
Thank you. Thank you so much.
Deepak Machado 36:35
So there you are. This has been a great conversation with Marilyn and Marilyn has shed such beautiful messages today. Our kids have to be taught the right lessons the right kind of education and money and finance is one of the fundamental subjects that every kid must learn to be a successful person in the future.
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