Does your child have any idea where money comes from?

United States
March 31, 2007 11:03am CST
This discussion comes to mind because we are planning to go to the mall today and my toddler is looking forward to it. She began to recite all the toys she had seen in there and places to eat. She asked if she can get a new Disney Princess dress and I told her, we don't have money for that right now. We have to save. She didn't say anything and next thing I know, she was lugging my purse along and told me, I got money on my purse. I was showed her my wallet and said, the coins are not enough. Told her Mommy's wallet has no money that is why Mommy and Daddy works hard so we have money. I thought that was the end of it. And she pointed out my debit card and she said, we can give that at the mall. I was quite amused but then started explaining to her that Mommy's debit card doesn't have unlimited amount of money. We put the money in the bank and save it there....like her piggy. And when there is enough, I can get money in one of the machine. I know it doesn't sink in yet because she is still young but I wanted to explain to her at this early age that money doesn't come spewing at the ATM machine and we have unlimited supply to it. What about you? Do you let your children know about your financial affairs or explain to them about money matters? Or if they wanted anything, you just get it and charged it on credit without them knowing anything?
2 people like this
5 responses
• United States
31 Mar 07
This is what I did. I told them how much their dad made an hour. Than they had to figure out how many hours he would have to work to buy them something. After that they were very thoughtful on what to ask for!
2 people like this
• United States
31 Mar 07
That is such a good idea Carolee. I definitely will tell my toddler that especially she is looking forward to Saturdays and Sundays because Daddy is not working. I work at home and she understand that sometimes Mommy need to sit on the computer to do work. Thanks for the comment....
1 person likes this
• United States
31 Mar 07
thank God mine are now all grown and out on thier own they used to be just like yours when they were younget I remember my younest said when i told her i didnt have money for something 'well then just write a check mom"LOL
• United States
31 Mar 07
Hahaha...I think they watched us closely on what we use in paying...be it check or debit cards. Thanks for the comment.
• United States
31 Mar 07
LOL. Thta is absolutely adorable. I have been trying to make my children understand about money. We have a piggy bank for each of our children as well. They get a quarter for each chore they do a day. Which their chores are simple chores for children their age. Helping mommy fix the bed, cleaning up their room, getting dressed in the morning and before bed time without a fuss, brushing their teeth, taking their baths and if they have been generally well behaved for the day. They love that they can earn their own money. This helps them learn what money is and that it has to be earned. One of my daughters did something kind of similar. We were at the store grocery shopping. We had just enough money to get some groceries and pay our bills and that was it. One of my daughters saw a huge stuffed bunny that she wanted and told us so. We told her we didn't have the money to buy it. She proceeded to reach out and grab her daddy's wallet out of his hand open it up and point to the money and said "Money." Then she pointed to the bunny and said "Buy it." I had to laugh at this as I know it was simply the fact that she didn't understand. I explained to her that we had to have the money to buy food and pay the bills otherwise we wouldn't be able to eat and we wouldn't have any lights. She has somewhat of a better understanding now but she is still quite young. I do however let me children know about money.
1 person likes this
@filchi (291)
• Netherlands
5 Apr 07
My daughter is the same, whenever we go out she knows we are going to mcdonald to eat and get a toy or to pass by at Toys R Us...but i think i am just lucky as when i told her we dont have money right now and we cannot keep buying toys everytime we go out, she doesnt say anything anymore nor insist. She understand that when mommy has money i can buy her a toy. But of course, every saturday we pass by at mcdonald as she loves to eat the nuggets there. And she understands too that if she behaves and do something good (like being nice to her sister and etc.) she can get something she likes. Eversince never like to have a credit card though, (for me that is a temptation :-))so i use atm cards to pay or cash.
@Sarah1977 (495)
• United States
31 Mar 07
I think that in general, most young children have little to no concept of money. Actually, there are some adults who even have a hard time trying to grasp the concept of being responsible with their money! My husband and I have 4 children, and we have a "comfortable" income. That being said, we DO NOT spoil our children....we want them to learn that they need to work hard for their money. We do allow them a small allowance (provided that they do their chores), and they need to use their own money to buy toys or video games. The only time that we buy them those things are for holidays and birthdays. There are times when I feel that they have been behaving exceptionally well, and I will buy them a little treat, but nothing too extravegant. My husband and I have worked very hard to build a financially stable environment for our family, and we want them to learn to do the same. One thing that I would like to add about something that my second son said when he was 4 years old... We were at the store, and he asked me if I would buy him something. I told him that we didn't have enough money, so he looked at me and said "but daddy will go to work tomorrow and make more money". He thought that when we said that people go to work to make money, that it actually meant they MAKE the money, as in cutting up paper and writing numbers on it. We thought that was really cute...