It’s the conversation almost every parent dreads having with their kid.
No, we’re not referring to the birds and bees here—we’re talking Money 101. After all, the sticky subject of finances can be full of sensitivities and complexities that many parents would rather avoid sharing with their little ones.
Now, new research reveals yet another obstacle when it comes to teaching kids about money. According to T. Rowe Price’s latest Parents, Kids & Money Survey, moms and dads aren’t treating their children equally when it comes to money talks—and could be perpetuating gender stereotypes.
The research found some surprising discrepancies between boys’ and girls’ experiences with money. For example, while only half of girls said that their parents talk to them about setting financial goals, close to 60% of boys said the same. Further, while 12% of boys under 18 were entrusted with a credit card, just half as many girls were.
It’s possible that these small differences in the way parents interact with their kids could be doing a number on girls’ money confidence: 45% of boys in the study said they were very or extremely smart about money, compared to 38% of girls.
So what gives? While the report doesn’t exactly pinpoint why this gender gap exists, one stat might be especially telling: 80% of parents with a son said their child understands the value of a dollar—while just 69% of moms and dads with a daughter said so. In other words, parents might believe that boys are simply smarter about money.
Unfortunately, this isn’t exactly news: Research earlier this year found that parents are statistically much more likely to talk to their sons about investing than their daughters. All this, despite studies suggesting that a gap in math skills (which could have an impact on money savvy) between boys and girls doesn’t actually exist.
Of course, whether you’re raising a son or a daughter, teaching your youngster about money is always important—and it doesn’t have to be tough. Here, learn how to chat with your children about everything from piggy-bank savings to the cost of college.