Kids Understand More About Money Than You Think! #kidworthNEWS | Nirasha Jaganath | November 30, 2011 at 7:17 pm
Normally the urge to shelter kids from the financial situations in a family comes like second nature, as it should be. While I would never recommend burdening kids with debt issues I do believe they do understand more than we give them credit for. When I was around 10 years old I recall hearing the ice-cream truck down my street. My family came from pretty humble means and we had never bought ice-cream from a truck so it was not like I should have been expecting a yay from my mom. As I asked my mom she looked at me and answered pretty evenly toned “We have no money!” and while I clearly recall taking a deep breath and let out the biggest whinathon – something in me registered. It would be futile since I knew she really had no money. That day I made a plan, I froze water colored with food coloring and added sugar to make ice-cube popsicles and sold it. My 1st “income”.
While in no way am I advocating that kids need to do that, I do attribute that act to me learning some financial lessons. I went on to be a newspaper delivery girl and other ventures all making me appreciate the value of the dollar (or truthfully the rand – the currency in South Africa where I was born). While I never mention cost of medical or educational stuff to my kids I do make them understand the value of items. They are both girls who love shopping. They know their sizes and love asking me what I think of each outfit. The older 6 year old has begun negotiating a little here and there to convince me. I normally state to them before entering a store either our budget or the fact that we are “just looking”. It is amusing to see the 6 year old chide her little sister at time “No, mama said we are not buying anything, just looking!”.
Now that we are currently in that group of people called unemployed, financials have played a bigger role in conversations. Splurges curtailed and explaining why we choose one thing over another, or why sharing is more an option seem to all be the order of the day. Amazingly though, they take it in their stride and where I can, I reward them for their wonderful attitude. Whilst that may look like it should be easy enough, having a child on the Autism spectrum means that I take nothing for granted and every time there is no meltdown for something I say no to, I consider it a tiny miracle.
Disclosure: This post was written as part of my role as a Kidworth ( a site for setting, tracking and sharing intelligent goals with your kids) Ambassador.