Teaching Children About Money by Susan A. Haid, Author/Producer, Lily's Truth
Parents often wonder if and when their children should learn the value of money whether it is though an allowance or otherwise. My children, like many children in today’s material society, started asking for every toy under the sun as soon as they could talk. Of course, I admit that initially I enjoyed giving my kids the toys they asked for, but I soon learned that this is a bottomless money pit with no easy way out.
So as soon as my kids were able to count, I started teaching them how to count pennies, nickels and dimes. When they had earned several coins that they could put in their own wallets, I allowed them to spend it as they wished, helping them to understand what they were able to buy with the very small amount of money they had in their possession. What was interesting to observe is that they started to develop discernment about what they would choose to purchase rather than simply wanting everything and expecting to get every toy on the market.
Another beautiful evolution that occurred, although this required some work on my part as well as theirs, is that they began to understand the value of saving their money so that they could have greater purchasing power. As my children got a little bit older (5-6 years old), they began to cultivate the patience needed to wait for a something they wanted while they slowly saved up for it. Immediate gratification was no longer part of their world. They needed to have the discipline and responsibility to earn money for the items they wanted to buy with the exception of the gifts they received on birthdays and holidays for the most part.
Money has been a tool of empowerment in our house. Money must be earned by the performance of chores and duties outside of the normal expected duties. Money must be saved by each one of us including the parents. After all, parents represent the standard for the children. My kids now understand why Mommy doesn’t drive a brand new car or why we can’t go out to dinner whenever we feel like it. My kids also don’t argue when I tell them they can’t have this or that when we are in a store buying necessities.