Saturday, Dec 8, 2012
Yesterday while dropping off our youngest at preschool I saw her chat with a boy in her class, followed by her receiving two quarters from him. I approached her and asked why he gave her some money. She replied, “He has more money than I do, so he should give me some.” She had clearly been working this angle with him before, as he seemed very agreeable in the arrangement, but I didn’t approve of it at all. I don’t want our daughter to be asking for money from anyone.
I insisted that she return the quarters to him, and then lectured her on money. “Honey, you can’t just ask people for money. You have to EARN money.” After she agreed to not ask him again, I left and got on with my day.
Reflecting back on it, it made me wonder how we can do a better job instilling in our kids a respect for earned money. They each do small chores each day and if they ask for a bigger job they can make small amounts of money (we track these on a clipboard weekly). We have lectured them all on keeping your money in a safe place (wallet or piggy bank) so you don’t lose it, but they have all lost coins and bills after carrying them around loose. But I still feel that we could do a better job communicating a healthy relationship with money– respecting it (not losing it), enjoying the process of earning it (not just asking us for it), and at the same time not becoming greedy and obsessed with it.