Monday, August 30, 2010
As parents, we take many opportunities to teach kids about money. One of my pet peeves is being asked this question by my stepkids:
"Kate, do you have enough money to buy ______________"
or this statement:
"oh, we can't buy that because we don't have enough dollars"
One of my older children has it stuck in his head that you make your purchasing decisions based on whether or not you HAVE money.
The only reason not to buy anything is because you don't have enough.
Buying something is a decision based purely on actually having the money.
He's heard this reasoning many times, over and over again from elsewhere. This mentality is proving very difficult to unlearn. We are teaching them, directly and indirectly, about budgetting, saving, and making decisions based on needs first. Conversations still emerge, almost daily:
"Kate, can we get McDonald's for dinner?"
"Oh. We don't have enough money for McDonald's?"
"That's not it, Thomas"
"Well, why don't we get McDonald's then?"
I have never used "we don't have enough money for ______________" as an excuse. Perhaps I have said, "I don't want to spend my money on that" or "We need to save our money, we have other more important things to use it for right now".
Recently, I heard a radio DJ talking about credit increases on credit cards. "Just imagining what I could do with the extra money!" he was saying. He went on about this - never showing any signs of awareness that a credit increase isn't EXTRA MONEY. It's extra debt .. if you use it. No wonder kids are so confused.
One exercise we found to be pretty successful was sitting our oldest two kids down with a list of all the types of expenses our household must pay in a month and having them guess how much had to be spent on each. We then went through and gave them actual figures with an approximate "income" figure to cover everything. Not every family is comfortable sharing that information with their kids, but I'm glad we did as they appreciate how budgeting works a whole lot better.
What ideas do you have for teaching kids about money?
Friday, August 20, 2010
With my oldest and middle children I didn't hear "NO MINE!" anywhere near as much as I do with Charlie. And I have determined this is because we spend so much time with Charlie's good friend Jordyn. My other children did not have another 2 year old invading their home and rifling through their stuff :) Anna had her cousin Ryleigh, and they did fight over things as well but at the age of 2 they did not see eachother quite so much as Charlie and Jordyn do. Cole - he had Thomas - but Thomas is so laid back and Cole has almost always been very willing to share his stuff.
But Charlie and Jordyn don't live together and they are not family and they have to sort this whole thing out and that is why I am posting my thoughts on the matter.
A recent clash while camping (where there were 3 girls aged almost 4 to 4 and a half, and 3 two year olds who were all within 6 weeks of age of eachother - that being - JUST two) got me thinking about how we as parents get our toddlers and preschoolers though this age where sharing is such an issue.
Charlie has a backpack full of his favourite stuff (cars and duplo) in the cabin where we were all hanging out during a storm, and he was over tired. He was losing his cool about other kids playing with his toys.
I could attempt to force him to share. Because sharing is good.
I could tell the other kids that they are Charlie's favourite toys and he doesn't want to share
I could take all the toys away.
What I have observed most often at playgrounds, playgroups, etc - is the attempt to force sharing option.
Sometimes this works, but is it really fair? In the same livingroom that day, I picked up the 10 year olds iPod and his brother piped up and informed me that I'd better not touch it because it's his brothers. Well, Okay then. The 10 year old doesn't have to share.
Should my 2 year old understand that his beloved cars are fair game to be played with by anyone who shows interest in them? That seems a little out of reach for a 2 year old and really - not the way we operate as adults. Do we lend out our car to somebody who wants it - somebody we don't really know all that well? Of course not. And if somebody took it without our permission, I think we'd be pretty upset. If my close friend wanted to borrow my car, that would be a different story - but I don't expect my 2 year old to understand friendship that well.
Normally Charlie will let others play with his thing, but that is where the OVERTIRED came in to play. There was no negotiation or soothing that the other kids would give back the cars when they are done. So the toys went away and distraction was brought forward.
Why do *we* as parents *make* kids share? Why do we firmly insist that our young child give up something of theirs when they do not want to - so that another child can have a turn? (I am not talking about taking turns with a swing at the park or an activity).
The way I see it - encouraging kids to share, modeling generosity, but not forcing the issue works better. The child does not feel violated and therefore even more possessive of their things. By NOT *making* your 2 year old share, you are actually helping them to be generous and giving and willing to share as they get older. A little encouragement and praise when they get it right will go a long way. Sometimes you can help the other kid who wants the toy understand and find something similar to do. Sometimes you have to just put the toys away. And sometimes telling your child that the other child will give it back and "see how happy they are to have a turn!" is enough to end the issue.
When I see a parent rip a reclaimed toy out of their childs hands and hand it back to the child who wanted to play with it, with their child screaming, kicking, arching their back and inconsolable - I feel pretty bad for that child. Obviously they don't understand sharing. In my opinion - the snatching by the parent and the overwhelming frustration by the child are not the circumstances and actions that foster a calmer and more giving reaction from that child next time. But that's just the way I see it ;)
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
Tonight, Charlie threw water in my face from a full cup. twice. He moves quickly, I'm still not sure how he managed to pull off the second throw. He was laughing in between and after and was in the bath at the time.
Tonight, Charlie started strutting his way into our parking lot. When I called after him, he ran for it - giggling.
If Charlie is done eating, he tosses his food on the floor. He figures he gets bonus points if you try to stop him but he still beats you to it.
Last time I wore a dress, Charlie discovered it is HILARIOUS to run up behind me and lift the back of it up. He did not do this once. He did it whenever David wasn't physically restraining him. He loves the reaction he gets. Unfortunately, it's difficult to ignore his lifting my dress up in public.
Charlie has a tendency to spit out whatever he is drinking...
Charlie is the only person who has ever (repeatedly) thought it was a good idea to tickle me. I hate to be tickled. He loves that I hate it.
Whenever Charlie misbehaves, he is very sincere when he says sorry. He also gives awesome hugs. Charlie is so unlike every other child in our family. Which goes to show how very different kids can be :)
We love our Charlie, he has more spunk than he knows what to do with. Which is basically our "problem" :)
Thursday, August 12, 2010
I believe this flyer route pays her fairly. Having done the route myself, I can do it in its entirety and earn $10/hour. Therefore, she is being paid "minimum wage" if she works quickly and I would be more inclined to agree with her desire to quit if the pay was unfair.
But I don't agree with her quitting. I think the lesson that earning money IS actually work and that jobs are NOT "fun" is a good lesson. An important lesson. And furthermore, letting her quit as soon as she realizes her job isn't as fun as doing whatever she wants on Thursday afternoon - is perhaps worse than if she'd never taken the job in the first place.
Putting together flyers takes her 90 minutes, during which she can listen to her music to pass the time. It is not exactly torture. Delivering the flyers - so far - has been in good weather and she is outside walking the neighbourhood for an hour and a half. She doesn't have to deal with coworkers (other than her siblings, whom she chooses to "hire") or an unfair boss. She has a responsibility and only herself to make it happen. The working conditions aren't so bad :) (although they might be in January).
$100/month is a lot of money to a 12 year old. A 12 year old who has, on many occassion, complained about her lack of funds and pointed out how she wants to earn money by doing extra chores so often in the past year.
Newsflash, Haley - *I* will not pay you $10/hour to clean my house (talk to me when you can clean it as fast as I can, then we'll see about that) :)
Tomorrow I take her to the bank to open her account and deposit her first two months of paychecks. We'll see if she has a change of heart when she finally has some money to go along with all of her hard work.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Happy / positive people
The smell of grass
Hearing what my children think about the world
The windows down
When I wake up early and don't feel tired
The sounds outside before 7:00am
When my children try something new
When my children try their best
Cream of wheat
Being cold while I sleep
Being warm while awake
A little contradiction in life
Finding a better way to do something
Hogging the bed
Camping (even though it is evil)
Being away from the city
The beautiful people who read my blog :) lol
Monday, August 9, 2010
My big baby
Who laughed at 5 weeks
So tall he needed 18 month sized clothes at 5 months of age
Happy unless tired or hungry
But happy enough to eat
and cute enough when asleep.
A Brother to many
who was quick to learn to talk
and took his time to learn to walk
Loves to copy us
Even if it's trying on summer clothes that aren't quite his..
Finder of trouble
and not afraid to be different
try new things
Or meet new people
My Baby Boy
Happy Birthday Charlie!