Teaching children the concept of money management during christmas

ionicons-v5-k By Adeola December 13, 2021

Dear Protribers,

It is that time of the year we all look forward to especially the children. The love, gifts, time spent and joy shared with loved ones and family always speaks love in the air. In the past, the holidays spent with parents, grandparents and children meant so much to everyone; however, there are way too many things happening around us that we might wonder if it is worth all the trouble. In the spirit of the season, others want to still show love and give gifts, spend time with their loved ones but on a low key.

This is the season that parents should seize the opportunity to teach their children some basic money management concept. Moving from the post COVID era into another phase of multiple variants of the virus, this has been a shaky phase of most businesses and jobs; and it presents the perfect opportunity for parents to speak to children about the reality of the season and the alternatives that are available to us without necessarily losing the essence of the season which is LOVE.

It is becoming clearer to most of us that with the COVID era comes the need to dial down on the overly expensive purchase of clothes, gifts and party; but rather a time to focus on the quality of time spent with friends, families and loved ones.

5 tips to teach your children especially at this season!

A Heart of Gratitude: Parents should teach their children to be grateful for everything, both the very little things and the big things. Little things like the air we breathe, the gift of sleeping and waking up to see another beautiful day. I teach in the Children’s Sunday School in my local church and I always say to the Year 7 and 8 children in my class, to always have a heart of gratitude; and our Sunday morning drill is to mention what we are all grateful for. As children, they always mention so many funny things. ‘I am grateful that I am alive, I can sing, I can play, I can dance, I was not kidnapped, I am not on the hospital bed and a little boy once said, “I am grateful, that I can poo and fart; and all the children screamed, ewww. Yet, this simple truth is so profound – the inability to poo or fart will definitely require a trip to the hospital.

Now, how does this teach money management principles? A heart filled with gratitude is a ‘’contented’’ heart and that leads to the second tip we need to teach our children.

Contentment: Contentment is a state of happiness and satisfaction. Contentment does not breed an entitlement mentality which a lot of children have these days and because of this, they tend to demand for everything and anything; where and when they do not get it, they throw tantrums and display attitudes not befitting of who their parents desire them to be. Teaching children contentment at an early age gives them a sense of fulfillment that with whatever they have they can be happy and satisfied.

In the spirit of this festive season, parents must understand that they need to speak to their children if they cannot meet the financial demands of giving their children luxurious gifts, new clothes or social outings that is usually expected at this tie. Children must be made to understand this era of not so much and how imbibing the culture of ‘’contentment’’ can lead to a really festive and happy time in the family. As parents, you can also propose to them to make do with their old items and still find some level of happiness, joy and contentment in just ‘having’ something which many do not even have the privilege of.

Contentment does not mean that we do not desire things, it only means we are happy with what we have presently.

Happiness is Free: Every Christmas season comes with a gift shopping spree with the children. This year replace it with the children looking into their closets and identifying items they have outgrown, items that they can give out to the less privileged within their community. Substitute hanging out with creating a family cooking experience that the children can play a large part in such as planning the menu and aftermath; this will teach them that happiness is not tied to a particular thing, but in the things, we find to do. Happiness is a deliberate state of being that is not only a life valuable lesson, but it deepens our children’s sense of worth and wholesomeness.

Money Talks: Have the much-desired money talks with your children this season; make the children join in the Budget making process so they understand what is in the budget and what is not, what is affordable and what is not. If the items are necessary, what are the affordable options. They would also need to learn how to develop a priority list.

Needs Vs Wants: It is a statement of fact to say that the children of this generation are very competitive and always looking out for what their friends or classmates have that they don’t have. Social media has not made it any easier by mounting up undue pressure on them. With a lot of sales and discounts ads in their faces, they seem to want everything they see, feeling everything around toys and gadgets are more important than their basic necessities. How do you tell a four-year-old girl, that the latest design of the barbie doll is not a need but a want? Difficult right? Before picking a gift for them, it is important that we help them identify what toys they need at every age. Let them understand that manufacturers make the same design in different variations, and the thousands of variation are but one product serving a need. Sometimes, children are way smarter and understanding than we give them credit for. The Money-talk conversation is a ‘game-changer’.

Helping children to learn the basic difference between ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ is something every parent must attempt to teach their children. Children sometimes do not understand the money principle around getting what they want and this should be taught, that money is needed to make a purchase. Children should be further engaged to decide after the initial lesson in needs and wants to choose what they consider a need or want.

Let us spread the love this season and get the children involved in all the activities of the season.

Happy Holidays!

With love,
Team Proshare foundation.

Adeola Posted on December 13, 2021