I allowed my children to spend their precious birthday money, sent faithfully every year by Granny who lived abroad, on things they wanted that I knew were a ‘waste’.
Why did I do this?
I wanted my kids to learn the value of money when they were very young and learn lessons like this when the price was small.
I love to recall the time when one of them (at age 8) spent his b-day money on a pack of imported strawberries (an item not in our regular grocery budget).
I enjoyed seeing him realize it was not at all worth it as, some were green and not tasty and he was compelled to share with his many siblings so he ended up with few. He certainly learnt a lesson and after that he choose more wisely how to spend his savings.
Another one was determined to buy herself a grown up ladies wallet, she was 7 yrs old. I did not stop her. She never used it and admitted a few years later when clearing out here room that it was a waste of money.
Can you imagine loaning them money and asking them for collateral? Why not?
Giving them an allowance and having them budget and manage their own bank account makes them feel so important and trusted. Not only is this preparing them well for the future but it also builds their selfconfidence.
Can our children get anywhere without selfconfidence? Not likely.
Wouldn’t it be awesome to see our teens doing their own laundry and occasionally be preparing their own meals? What a joy! They are more likely to be motivated to do this IF they grow up by our side helping us. When they leave home this will be familiar and therefore it will be one less thing to get used to since they would have practiced at home.
Remember Children learn what they live. When they see us contributing happily to our family needs doing chores: laundry, cleaning and cooking they will tend to be more eager to do the same.
Complain, rant and sulk to manage family household responsibilities and then don’t be surprised when they imitate you the parent and complain and sulk.
No doubt they are driving cars, acting like very responsible adults behind the wheel on the nation’s roads before they go off to tertiary education or the world of work. This responsible behaviour on the roads can certainly transfer into the home where they can sibling sit, house sit, take on responsibilities of running the home, yard, garden, vehicles, shopping errands.
Sounds like marriage preparation to me! How great is that?
We actually deprive and rob our adult children when we do too much for them and don’t expect them to contribute and help and do for themselves. Let’s give ourselves a break, share the burdens of running the home with our adult children and empower them in the process…to face the real world, competent and confident. Highly employable by the way.