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Teaching kids the value of money
Let's say you've been out shopping with your child. Your child has been good. Your child asks for the latest must-have widget on the shelf. The widget is less than twenty dollars. What do you do?
According to J. F. Straw, you should tell the little scamper "No." In an interview with ParentWonder, Straw explains the best way to deal with unplanned purchase requests from a child is to deny them. If negotiations (aka "incessant whining") continues, ask the child's plan to pay for the item. Is the child willing to take a job walking the neighbor's dog or raking leaves? Use the birthday money they had been saving for a new skateboard?
It's easy to cave and give in to reasonable requests of a kid. However, by doing so we rob them of understanding the value of money, the pride in working hard and saving to achieve a financial goal, and the pride of owning something they earned themselves. Placing the financial burden on the child, forces them to assess their level of need and/or desire for the item is common sense advice that would stem the tide of small plastic pieces entering the home.
Instead of just giving them what they want, how about helping them make a piggy bank out of an empty mayonnaise jar to give them a cute and accessible place to store their own hard-earned cash?