I came across this article that really caught my attention. See, we just started giving our kids weekly allowance. The deal is, the allowance is fixed but they would get extra bucks for certain conditions. That would include making their bed, doing their assigned chores, or doing good in class. For failure to do so, we would also deduct a certain amount.
At first I was quite alarmed because the kids (especially Ria) has been very concerned about getting more money. I thought, maybe it's not a good idea after all. Are we promoting greed or love for money?
I remember Roi (0ur 5-year old) ask me to buy something and I said we did not have money for that yet. "Then let's buy money!" he said simply. Have you heard your kids say the same? That is because they have the impression that money can just be readily available anytime. Some kids think all we have to do is to approach the ATM machine and like magic, the money comes out. Some literally think that they grow on trees. The Santa Claus mentality has taught our kids that there is a big man out there who rewards good kids with goodies without having to do anything in return.
Ok so this article has been very helpful.
The ABCs of Do-Re-Me
First, we are encouraged to let the kids understand how economy works. They are not expected to understand about stock market, recession and all that but that money is earned. Explain to them why people have to work. Make it clear to them that if we use money irresponsibly, we would suffer certain consequences. It is also important that as young as they are, they would understand the difference between needs and wants.
I would like to share this story of Ria last week. She was about to do a "show and tell" in school on Wednesday and we had to do some groceries on Tuesday night. We had little budget only suited for our needs. Ria wanted to make banana cream pie for her show and tell. The thing is, the ingredients are quite expensive. We told her she could do the chocolate pudding instead. She really wanted to do the pie, so she thought she could use her allowance to pay for the ingredients. I guess it was one instance that made her realize that if she really wants to get what she wants (opting for the more expensive option) then there is a price to pay. She gladly paid for the ingredients. She also did a good job at the show and tell-- I felt proud!
Ethics Through Sharing
One very good way of breaking the bondage of greed is by giving. Set an example by letting them see your example of giving. They could collect coins for charity. They could gather old clothes and think of someone who might appreciate them. You won't have problems with greed when the spirit of giving is inculcated in the hearts of your kids.
I am grateful that our kids are givers. When Roi received his first allowance of 60THB, he immediately gave the whole amount to the charity foundation we are working at. When they outgrow clothes and we decide to give them, they don't have questions.
Let them see that giving is a lifestyle. It does not happen on Christmas season only. It is the whole year round. Since we are a Christian family, I make it a point to teach the kids that we are blessed in order to be a blessing to others. I pray the kids will live this very important principle out until they become adults, and eventually become parents themselves.