It was Tommy’s sixth birthday and his Uncle Kevin got him a gift card. Without batting an eyelid, Tommy asked ‘How much is on it?”
While not an entire inappropriate question, the timing could have been better. Tommy should have thanked his Uncle Kevin for the gift. Later on, he could have asked his parents to check the balance on the gift card for him online or at the store.
Teach Your Children to Value Money – But Not Too Much
While it is important to teach the value of saving at an early age, it is also important to teach the concept of giving early on as well. Even four year olds can understand that we need to take out some good, working toys for the less fortunate kids who don’t have any. We can explain that we shouldn’t just give trashy or broken toys to charity.
Another time-tested tip by parents is not to give your kids the option of returning gifts unless it is identical to something they already have or an absolutely inappropriate present. Otherwise, just having the option to take it back makes the kids dubious about whether they like the gift or not.
Many experts give parenting tips that there should be no payment for household chores. Everyone should pitch in – folding laundry and taking out the trash should be part of being a family. Mom doesn’t get paid to cook, why should kids get paid to clean up the table? Their philosophy is that if money becomes linked to chores, kids can start demanding more money for even trivial things they should be expected to do like making their own bed.
Another one of the many money-savvy parenting tips can be to encourage children to enjoy hand-me-downs. Instill excitement in sharing and swapping between cousins. ‘Oh Wow Connor, you’re wearing what Riley was wearing on his fifth birthday in this picture…how lucky!’
Learn to enjoy free activities as a family. Children may find as much pleasure in a picnic in a park than a dinner in a fancy restaurant. It is parents who sometimes feel the need to spend on kids.
Lastly, a very important parenting tip is not to try and buy your way out of a situation. If you have been neglecting your child because of some commitments and he has spent the entire week in front of the TV, do not buy an expensive toy to make up. Otherwise, this is what he’ll expect every time you are away.
A final parenting tip would be to instead, spend another precious resource, your time. Get down on the carpet and play a board game or snuggle up in bed and read a book. That is one of the most important gifts you can give your child and that your child will remember for years to come.