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Teaching Children About Money

Money makes the world go round. doesn’t it?

The optimist in me would say love does, but the realist in me would not agree. We live in a world motivated and run by money. It is what allows us to live in our homes and to shop for our foods.

Older generations used to say that money doesn’t grow on trees, as a way to teach their kids frugality. I believe the sentiment behind this is still true. There is nothing wrong with sharing money issues with your child, within reason. I wouldn’t go so far as to “we have no money to eat” but it is OK to say to them, “we are trying to save up so today when we go in to the shop we will only buy what we need”.

I think this teaches children that money is earned and that judgment should be used while spending it. It also teaches them to separate between what they want and what they need, and I think its an important life lesson.

I’m not against treats or anything of the sort, but if your child is used to getting something every time you go into a store with them, it could create a problem if you try to change that habit one day.

Besides talking to them and reminding them before you go into a store, you can also use a little trick which I mastered. Say you come across a toy and your child asks for it. You give it to them and say, that’s a beautiful toy. Now you can hug it and kiss it, and lets put it back. Works beautifully for the under threes.

Another thing is to let them experience money. Let them help you pay. Let them put in the coins or hand over the bill. It will make them feel included and also show them you think they are responsible.  

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