I still struggle to realize that my boys will be 5 years old soon, that they are brilliantly smart, and ready to be challenged with more complex lessons. I hadn’t even considered different ways to teach kids about money until they started setting up shop in their bedroom and splitting coins amongst themselves. I asked Melissa from CloudMom to come share her ideas on how to teach kids about money, so that I can get started with my boys just as I hope you will get started with your children!
It really is never too early to teach your child about the power of money. Although they may not be dealing with taxes and bills for another twenty years or so, now can be a good time to start a conversation with your child on the importance of spending and saving wisely. As a mom of 5 in NYC, I feel lucky that my kids will grow up in a place where stock markets, banks, and ATM machines are literally around the corner. In addition to this exposure, here are 5 ways I am implementing financial lessons for children into our everyday lives!
- Start at a young age: As I mentioned before, now is the perfect time to introduce your child to the value of money, especially coins! Since coins don’t have their worth written on them like dollar bills do, it’s even more important for your child to learn the value of each. Perhaps you can start by tracing the coins onto paper in different colors, or by solving simple math equations with the coins. For instance, how much is one penny plus one dime?
- Play Pretend: Are your children getting to the age of imaginary play? Why not expand this creativity into a pretend store out of your own living room? Encourage them to price their pretend food and toys and have them count out the money in exchange for the goods. A great way to teach them the value of products and on commerce in general!
- Make a trip to the store a teachable moment: If you’re bringing your child to the grocery store, this can be the perfect opportunity to share your wealth of knowledge (bad pun) with them. Have him estimate how much all of your items will cost, compare prices between two brands of milk or eggs, or give him some practice clipping coupons for you to use. A guaranteed way to add learning and fun to the most mundane of shopping trips!
- Put your kid’s allowances to good use: Does your child have an allowance? Are her eyes set on a great new game? Teach your child the importance of saving up for future expenses by setting up a savings account and encouraging him or her to make regular deposits! She’ll be so happy when she’s saved enough for that special product or toy, which will only encourage her to save more in the future!
- Consider donations to charity: If your family can afford to donate to charities, it might be a good idea to instill this notion of generosity and giving early on in your child’s life. Have your child research a few charitable organizations they are interested in, and what percentage of each donation dollar goes to their cause. An awesome way to combine learning and social responsibility in one!
So there you have it, five ways to teach kids about money! If you have any ideas for money games for kids or other pieces of advice, share below! I’d love to hear from you!
Melissa Lawrence, co-founder of CloudMom, lives in New York City with her husband and 5 young children. With a few parenting tricks up her sleeve, Melissa posts how-to videos and blogs for parents on a range of issues including baby, toddler, kids, fashion, travel, and well-being.
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How to Avoid the Epic Meltdown: Understanding Your Child’s Cues
Duh, duh, duh….the dreaded meltdown. With one kid, this can bring the strongest mommy to her knees. With multiples, well…the word “epic” takes on a completely new meaning. In the worst possible way.
Moral of the story? A little organization and forethought can go a long way. Considering WHY my kids were throwing tantrums and then exploring what I could do to prevent them before they started has saved me a million tears. Like I said, it’s not a perfect system. But every little bit helps.
How to Speak the Right Language: Understanding Your Child’s Cues
Every day I pick up my children from day care to hear “They are such great kids! They had a blast today and are some of the best listeners we’ve ever had. They’re so well-behaved!” Yay, Mama win! And then we go home and they act like total demon-infested, hell-raising psychos and won’t listen to a word I say. Weekends can be brutal and I sometimes find myself praising Jesus that I decided to keep working and not stay-at-home.
sweet kids from day care?
Best Thing I Ever Did: I went to pick the kids up one day and they were enjoying themselves, so I decided to just sit and watch for a bit and let them play. Funny thing happened. I started listening to how the day care teachers communicated with my children and how they responded. And the light bulb went off. I don’t know how to speak the language my kids understand.
I started listening harder. And then I came back the next day and did it again. Now, every time I drop off or pick up, I listen. How are they talking to my kids? What are they saying? How are the kids responding? And then I mimick it at home.
Major win!!! My kids are starting to see an extension of their daily routine back into the home and it’s making sense. I say certain words they’re used to hearing and like magic, they listen. Not every time (which I suspect also happens at day care), but the majority of time. Major improvement. We are starting to speak the same language.
Sometimes I forget (or refuse to admit) that I am not my children’s primary care provider. For those of us that work outside the home, most often our kids spend the majority of their time somewhere other than with us. Sometimes, being reminded of that hurts. A lot. But truth is, they develop routines, cues and references that we’re not familiar with. We need to learn the language they are used to hearing every day so that we can communicate our needs in a way they understand. I need to speak my children’s language.
Phrase Adjustments that Worked for Me:
- “Walk away please” instead of “No!” or “Don’t Touch!”
- “Are you using your listening ears?” instead of “Listen to me!”
- “I’m going to go to work for awhile, but Mommies always come back!” instead of “Say bye to Mommy. I have to go to work.”
11 Alternatives to Self Harm: Emily Speaks
If you’re just connecting with the Emily Speaks series, be sure to check out her first post, Cyber Bullying and Self-Harm, to catch up. Today, Emily will be sharing 11 alternatives to self harm to help those hurting to make healthier choices to cope with emotional struggles.
I know it can be hard not to self-harm if you’re being bullied, but you need to try to think of other ways to deal with the pain. Cutting leaves angry scars on your body. You should try to deal with your hurt in other ways. Here are 11 good examples that will hopefully help you out a little bit.
1. Try talking to somebody about what’s going on so that you can get it out of your system.
2. Go outside where nobody is around and just scream as loud as you can for as long as you want.
3. Take a rubber band and keep it on your wrist so whenever you feel like cutting you can just take that rubber band and snap it on your wrist (softly – not to where it harms you).
4. Get an old teddy bear or stuffed animal that you don’t want and take your anger out on that.
5. Go on a jog or go out and ride your bike or long board or whatever you have and just ride around to calm yourself down.
6. Go hang out with your friend(s) and get your mind off things that would make you want to cut or do anything else to harm yourself.
7. Sleep it out and take a long nap and see how you’re feeling when you wake up.
8. Go hang out with your family and just relax.
9. Listen to some music.
10. Read a book.
11. Get an art journal and draw out your feelings. You can paint, draw pictures, even just scribble hard.
These are some of the ways that I stop myself from cutting, because I do still think about it when things get rough. When that happens, I try to do these instead and it helps. It does! You need to do anything that would take your mind off of any bad thoughts you are having and make you want to hurt yourself. This might not be the best list of ideas, but if you take a chance and try them out, they might end up working for you. You’re not only helping yourself, but you’re helping everyone else around you by making a better choice to not self-harm.