Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Does anyone mind if I spoil my kids?

Yeah, I thought so. And really, I don't want them to be spoiled. But I have to be honest, my kids pull at my heart strings. And when they earnestly desire something, I do earnestly desire to get it for them.

When the kids act like little stinkers, it is easy to say "no" to whatever they want. And when money is super tight I may not want to say "no," but our hands are tied: the answer is "no" whether a heart string is pulled or not. But sometimes they are good, and sometimes we do have a couple of dimes to rub together.

So I am in search of wisdom: how to walk that middle-class line, where you could afford this or that, but are just not sure how often to say yes and when to draw the line.

But you know where this is headed, don't you? If I decide to teach my kids about how to be a good steward of money (theirs and dad's), I might have to evaluate MY OWN spending wish list long before I take a gander at my kids'.

Authenticity. Oh ick. I have to live out something difficult in order to teach them something. I can't exactly tell them "no" to that train table they have drooled over for half their lives and then leaf through that Pottery Barn catalog and order up a new couch.

Here is what I am thinking the steps are to get this whole notion moving.
  1. Think through what kind of consumers I want them to grow up to be
  2. Think through what kind of consumer I am modeling
  3. Compare that to God's standard
  4. Modify modify modify. (Me.)
  5. Read up on the "wiser-older's" ideas
  6. Come up with a way to show the kids what Daddy and Mommy think about when we spend money
  7. Involve them in it - so opportunities to talk about money come up in new ways
  8. Let the kids earn money/receive an allowance so they begin to learn to manage their money in light of everything new they are absorbing.

Well, I have the child labor/dime-a-chore part going on already, but I see I have some work ahead of me. I am off to start on my list. If you have any thoughts or resources, pass them on!


Chris Brestle said...

You hardly know me- I'm a friend of Megan's. I was excited to see you started a blog too! (Especially because I hear all your great parenting tips from Megan!) Anyway, I've heard this about teaching kids about money:
Children need to learn five basic skills in relation to money: They are to earn diligently, spend wisely, save consistently, give cheerfully, and receive graciously.
Also, if you are going to give them a dollar, do it in dimes and have separate to hold money to give to God, one for saving, one for helping others, and one for spending. Then, help your kids divide up their dollar by putting dimes in the different containers. Our kids aren't old enough for this so I don't know if it works well.

~J.J. said...

Thanks for the post. I miss you guys, and our study time together. I will be checking in on your blog to keep up with life.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the thoughts Jenne. I think it is SO important to teach kids that they get treats every one in awhile but that they need to earn them. I love the idea of teaching them about what we spend as parents, when they can understand. I am just glad that Hope still thinks one toy from the Dollar Tree is the greatest thing ever!

jon and erin said...

Thanks for posting. My parents did a GREAT job teaching Ian and I about money even though we didn't have much. We worked with envelopes: Savings, spending, Tither and as we got older we added others like a car fund. We learned about percents and put our dimes in the right place. If we didn't have the money we couldn't get it.
Every Chirstmas we each took a child from the Angel Tree and were resposible for getting them something.
Sleeping is not going well here. I read more in that book and tried to impliment some crying and it's only gotten worse. I got 3 hours in one stretch last night but he's fighting it more and crying a LOT more than ever over bedtime and at night. We go to the Dr next week and I'll see if his ears are okay. I hear that could be it too.

Megan said...

So if you get them that train table then you can get some new couches? Sounds like a great deal to me! Can I get in on this? How about if you all get what you want, you can buy me some clothes that fit! Joking. Good thoughts Jen. Money is hard, and makes me kind of ill to think about. But I don't want my girls to get the same sick feeling every time they deal with dollars. So it is good to think through and plan now. I agree with what you are saying. The best lessons our kids are going to learn is from our example. So it goes with all aspects of training up our kiddos!

Pate Family said...

I love the Dave Ramsey quote relating to this topic: "Raise your kids, spoil your grandkids. Spoil your kids, raise your grandkids." On another note-Andrew came home yesterday from your house saying, "there are some kids you just want your kids to hang out with and be friends with forever, Davis and Jackson are that type of kids for our kids." They are such great kids- thanks fo letting them hang out with ours!