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How To Teach Children The Value Of Money

How to teach children the value of money. I'm known for teaching people the principles of self-government. So, what is self-government? Self-government is being able to determine the cost and effect of any given situation and possessing a knowledge of your own behaviors so that you can control them.


Do we have behaviors in money? Is there cause and effect when it relates to money? Absolutely. So, teaching children how to value and manage money is a big part of preparing them to be self-governed adults. In this article, I'm gonna be sharing with you the don't of teaching children the value of money, as well as the do, 's so that we help them prepare to be good stewards of their money and to appreciate it. Let's start with the don'ts. 

Don't give your child too much money. I know a lot of people think well, how are they gonna value any money unless they have any money of their own? It's okay for a child to maybe get some birthday money or occasionally some money in some little way but if you are consistently giving the child money for everything that they want or need, they see money as something that they just get whenever they want something. 

So, that actually promotes an entitlement relationship with money instead of seeing that money is something that they need to work towards. So even though parents really in a caring, loving way want their child to be able to have some money to manage or to buy certain things and to see that money actually can buy certain things, it is not a good idea to just be handing out the money all the time to the child because, in the end, they're not gonna learn the value of the money. They'll just learn that they're just entitled to get some whenever they want something. 

Don't give them too much stuff either. How is a child going to learn the value of money if they never get the opportunity to buy anything they need? Now, I know many parents think to themselves, well I'm gonna give my money everything that they need, all the basics that I want them to have but, I'm not going to give them money for a few little frivolous things. Well, if the child pretty much has everything that they could ever want or need for the most part, why would they do any extra work to earn money to get anything else? Think of that. Just for a candy? It's not worth it. But, if it is for that birthday present for their best friend, it could be worth it. So, don't give your children too many things either. 

Now, this doesn't mean that we should create this type of environment where the child feels panicked when it comes to personal possessions, right? So, there's definitely a balance there for what we do give to our children but then also when we allow them to provide some things for themselves too by doing a little bit of hard work earning some money and seeing how their money can provide something for them that actually feels good, feels like a need. It's really powerful and I'm gonna talk more about how to do that later in this article. 

Another don't is don't baby the children. And I'm talking about everything. If you want your child to really have a good relationship with money, they also have to have a good relationship with hard work which means they need to see that they can do things, right? Don't coddle them or dote on them too much because if so, then how are they going to ever find the initiative to push toward earning money and toward may be growing a little business so that they can even learn to value money more. Babying children handicaps them. It does not help them. I know that we think it's kind, it feels loving, sometimes we feel like if we baby them or coddle them then we can make everything go exactly perfect. But you know what? Great people aren't usually born in perfect circumstances. 

Great people are born when they learn a little bit of grit. They learn a little bit of hard work, so let's talk about the do. Do number 1 is to teach children to work. That means you have to work with them, not just give them chores and extra jobs. So, you need to work alongside them daily. Yup, daily. If you can do it, do it every single day. So, as a mother, I decided that our family would have family work time every day. Oftentimes that work time was just half an hour, I would pick 1 area of the house or maybe an area in the yard that we were gonna pull weeds or plant things and we would all work together as a group. 

Now, that was usually the school year. During the summer, every single day, we would do multiple hours especially out in our big yard because we grew lots of food and stuff. So, my children were very accustomed to working with me in the garden for sometimes 2, even 3 hours a day. In fact, occasionally at the beginning and the end of the season, there were sometimes whole days or multiple days in a row when we would need to can all the products or get the gardens prepped to put everything in and those would take long, long work periods. But if your children are already used to working with you, then that's okay. 

They can feel like it's alright to put in that extra work for this 1 day. Here's the thing. Work builds confidence, okay? People who know how to work are people who can get things done and when you get things done, you feel like you have a purpose in life. And so, that work ethic that you instill in your children is vital. Now, of course, give them their own chores that they need to do each day, maybe even each week and it's also okay to teach them to earn extra chores maybe for a synthetic negative consequence when you're correcting them because work is the antidote for a sick character. So, teach your children to work. Just that principle right there will help prepare them to value money. You might be asking yourself. 

Well, because to really value money, you have to work for it. So, let's talk about that. Do give your children the opportunity to work for money. What types of things should your children be doing so that they get the opportunity to work for money? I do not do allowance in my family. I'm not gonna go into great detail about why in this article especially because I have another article that talks about allowance and money where I've gone into other details there. 

But, what I am gonna say is I'm gonna say that when we give our children the opportunity to earn money outside of allowance, then that means that they have to take the initiative. If a person takes the initiative for earning the money, that money automatically has more value to them. Think of the person who is just giving a handout from the government. 

You don't value it as much, right? You just expect the next handout to come or if they don't get enough, they just try to ask other people for more. But what about the people who create a business because they need a side income or for the people who put in extra hours at the office on different projects because they need to bring home a little bit more. Then they really value that money and they're likely not going to waste it because they know how much work is required to get more. So, how do I teach that to my children? Well, we do have businesses in our family. If your family can come up with a great family business, that's a good way to teach children a good work ethic. 

My husband owns a plumbing business, he's a general contractor and a plumber and so he takes the children with him on jobs to tear out things for remodels and stuff like that and they get the opportunity to earn money. He's also had our children do some of his paperwork for his business. Entering in receipts and things like that that he needs to keep track of for his bookkeeping but takes him a lot of time that he doesn't necessarily want to spend. 

So, those are the types of things you can train your children to do. In my business which is teaching self-government where we teach parenting and stuff, I have brought the children with me to teach groups of people. So, they train other people and I pay them for it. They also run a lot of the backend things on my website and I pay them for it. They run my shipping department and I pay them for it. It's an actual job and they have to apply for it. 

They have to want it. But let's say you don't have a family business, how can you help your child earn money? Well, you can encourage them to start a business, that's one thing, and I do have ideas about that in another article so I'm not gonna go into detail there. But also you can have an application process at your house for your children to come to you and to apply for a job to earn money at your house. So, what I did is I had a notebook where I would write down in it all the different things that I needed to be done. Extra things that I didn't get to very often like organizing the game closet. 

You know that one where the games just get everywhere, right? Or vacuuming under the couch cushions or just, you know, some of these things that you don't usually get to. I wrote them all down on a piece of paper and then I put off to the side how much I would pay for that job. So then if my child wanted to earn money, they would come to me and they would say, "Mom, can I apply for a job?" I would say okay. They would look at my list and say, "Mom, I would like to apply for sweeping out the garage." 

This is a big job, right? It's gonna take out a good chunk of the day to move everything out of the garage and really sweep it and clean it well. So, the children know okay, I'm gonna invest quite a bit of time. I would say okay, well if you would like to apply for that, please tell me how you plan on accomplishing it. If you feel like you know the skill or you need additional training for this job and I would like to know when you expect to have it done. So then they would say I would like to do it all today. 

I think I have the skills because I've done it before but I do need to know about this 1 piece and then we would talk about it, I would tell them they could have the job and it needed to be done today if they wanted to have that payment. So then they would start on the job and pay. They took responsibility. Now, why would they even think about coming to me for a job? Well, that leads me to another do. Do meet with your child regularly. So, in our family, we have what we call mentor meetings. And these are meetings where I and my husband meet with each child individually once a week. In these mentor meetings, we talk about the things that they hope for. 

Their goals in life, their academic goals, their social goals, their relationships, and during these conversations, they often times say, mom, I want to earn money and I'll say oh, well let's talk about ways that you can earn money. Are you thinking you want to start a business or are you wanting to apply for a job with mom because I do have certain jobs that you can apply for. 

Let me show you what's on my list and you can think about maybe when you want to apply for some of these jobs. So, we have these meetings with the children regularly where we talk about their lives in general and these meetings are times where we can also bring up the opportunities that they might want to earn money. This puts them in the driver's seat in earning money instead of us just trying to push it on them as so many parents do. So, why might they want to earn money? Let's talk about that. 

Do give your children the opportunity to buy some of their own things. So, in my family, my children know that once they hit 12 years old, they are responsible for buying their own clothing and shoes and any gifts they might give to other people as well as souvenirs or extra treats that the family might not be providing, something like that. So, if they're like oh! I want to go to McDonald's, then they are probably going to go pay to go to McDonald's with their sister who can drive them there and get french fries just because that's what they want. 

So, the children get the opportunity to buy their things. Now, that doesn't mean we never give them clothes or something. I mean, come Christmas, come birthday, guess what they're gonna ask for? Mom, can I get these special shoes? Mom, can I get this new outfit or these new things? Oh sure, we'll add it to your list. But then they're not thinking oh, bummer, clothes. 

When they get clothes for a gift they're like, yay! That saved me so much money and so much time. So, actually, you know, people make jokes like oh, well, I would never give my child socks and underwear for a gift and I'm like I would. I totally would give my child socks and underwear for a gift because there are many times that Christmas comes around and a child says to me, Mom, for Christmas, I really could use some socks and underwear and new pajamas and they'll list some things that they don't want to pay for themselves. That means they value money, they know those things have value. If a person is gonna value money, they also have to value things. 

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