Ask a Know-It-All Mom: Parenting Advice on Everything

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January 31, 2008

Hi Lela, My oldest is 4. He recently got some money for Christmas from a relative. He knows that money buys toys (because he asked) and we tell him the other things we use money for (house, food, clothes, car, etc). I have a feeling that he will soon put two and two together and ask us for his money to buy some toy that he likes. We're prepared to tell him the money is in savings for college, but he's only 4 and I'm not sure he'll fully comprehend. Do you think a small (very small) allowance is good at this age so that he can feel like he's got access to money? Or are we rushing it?

Thanks, Blogger Mom

Dear Blogger Mom,

Personally, I think four is a little young. I'd let the kid initiate the allowance question. It's one thing to start instilling money values in regard to the gift money, but quite another to start giving allowance. Money is like sex - you need to teach kids on a need to know basis! In other words, think about what is age appropriate to the individual child. How would your four year old be earning the money? Because that is a very important aspect of financial education. I'm in the camp that believes that even household chores should not be compensated as they are the kids' duty as members of the family. You can read more about how I handle allowance in my Hub on kids and money. For now, I'd tell you to wait until he starts asking for money to deal with this issue.

Thanks for being one of the first responders!

Lela

Please ask parenting questions for Lela Davidson in the comments below. I'm no parenting expert, but I am the mother of two healthy, happy children. I will try to answer everything down on the driveway style. That means you get my honest opinion. If you have questions that require research, I'll write a Hub and post a link here.

 

What Does Lela Know? Everything!

Check out my style before asking your question by reading the following articles:

How to Teach Kids to Listen - Listening to others is the foundation for every relationship your child will create. It's worth the time it takes to teach kids to listen. Plus, parenting a child who listens is WAY easier than parenting a child who ignores you.

Setting Boundaries for Children - What are boundaries and how as parents do we create and enforce them? Find out how to communicate our expectations and consequences to uor kids clearly and effectively.

How to Teach Kids About Private Parts - Oooh not that! Scary, scary subject. It's not that bad. Get over your personal phobias and arm your kids with information before someone else does!

How to Teach Kids About Money - The sooner you teach kids about money the better. The way we spend money says a lot about our values. Kids are learning by our actions even when we don't say a word, so you may as well tackle the subject head-on.

What Parents Need to Know About Cutting - Read this article to learn the basics of self-mutilation, also known as cutting. You've got to know what's going on out there if you want to protect your children.

How to Show Affection to Your Children - Do you love your kids? Of course you do. Do they know it? Find out specific things you can do to demonstrate your love for your children.

How to Stop Young Kids From Whining - Whining has got to be one of the most annoying things kids do. You need a plan. Get tips here nip this bad habit in the bud.

How to Cope With Breastfeeding Challenges - Proper breast care makes the difference between enjoyable breastfeeding and a feeding nightmare. Learn about the common challenges nursing mothers face and what you can do about them.

How and When to Stop Breastfeeding - The American Academy of Pediatrics wants you to breastfed for at least a year. But should you really feel guilty if you stop before that? Get the facts and make your choice.

read more at www.afterthebubbly.blogspot.com

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Comments 7 comments

MM Del Rosario profile image

MM Del Rosario 8 years ago from NSW, Australia

great resources for parents,


greathub profile image

greathub 8 years ago from Earth

Ms. Lela Davidson, would you check my "parenting tips" hub?

http://hubpages.com/family/parentingtips

I look forward to hear some advice from you to improve my hub becaue you seem to be expert on this topic.


Lela Davidson profile image

Lela Davidson 8 years ago from Bentonville, Arkansas Author

Jersey Girl - I totally agree you did the right thing. That's the thing with parenting. You have to trust your gut. I would say your daughter exhibited an unusual interest. SHE was the one driving the allowance, because SHE was the one asking to start a business! I don't think that's common in a pre-school aged child. I love that you're making her earn it, and explaining the value of money. Thanks for reading and for your thoughtful comment!


JerseyGirl profile image

JerseyGirl 8 years ago from Jersey Shore

Hi Lela, I truly enjoyed your hub. Although, I am uncertain that I would agree with your views of teaching a 4 year old about allowance.

We have a daugher who will be 5 mid-March. I started talking about and explaining what money is, when she was about 4. She understands that Dad goes to work, and at the end of the week, makes money. She understands that money is what you need to purchase things - food, shelter, pay for the t.v., phone, heat, electric, dog food, clothes, even toilet paper.

Most recently, she asked me if she could get a job, or start a business, as she wanted to make money and go to the bank on Friday. (Yes, I almost fell over. She wants to start a driving school because "most of the people in New Jersey don't know how to drive!")

That was the time that I decided to introduce her to an allowance.

No, I don't provide her with an allowance towards anything that she is EXPECTED to do (clean her room, pick up laundry, help me around the house, etc.), I did come up with some ideas that made MY life easier, as well as help her learn more about the value of money, and how hard work ACTUALLY is.

e.g.... I have a shopping list, a supermarket circular, and coupons. The object of the "job" (game) is to go shopping and find everying on the list, including those with money saving coupons, and find the shortest checkout line. You would be suprised how my daughter behaves in the store! She leads the cart around and tells ME where to find the items. Then, she spots the "red" tags on the shelf, and tries to match up the item (including price) with the photo in the circular.

This is a pretty hard job for me to do myself (especially without my glasses). When we are done, we continue to check out. Normally, she would ask me to purchase candy (which is always on the checkout aisle). I would ask if she would prefer to purchase candy, or to get an allowace for doing the hard job of shopping of $0.25 cents on Friday to put in her piggy bank.

Normally, she prefers the money. She knows that if she collects 4 quarters, she can purchase ONE thing at the dollar store.

Or, sometimes, she prefers to save the money and buy brownie mix the next time we go shopping.

So, teaching children about allowance, or salary (getting paid for the work you do, right??) is not such a bad thing to do when they are young.

I believe that it helps them to understand the value of money, as well as gets them into the habit of watching what they spend, how they spend it, and thinking about saving to purchase a bigger item, or for a "rainy day".

Again, loved your hub and hope that others will enjoy it as much as I did. Thank you.


Lela Davidson profile image

Lela Davidson 8 years ago from Bentonville, Arkansas Author

Ang3lz: For the whining, you've got to be very consistent. Two years old is young, but your son will begin to respect your boundaries when you stick to them. Be patient, and happy in the knowledge that 'this too shall pass.' As for your younger son, I would check with his doctor to find out if his weight is out of line. I'm sure you're not the only one struggling with this issue. I'll do some research and post a link here when I've got a Hub written.

Thanks for being one of the first responders!!!

Lela


Blogger Mom profile image

Blogger Mom 8 years ago from Northeast, US

Hi Lela,

My oldest is 4. He recently got some money for Christmas from a relative. He knows that money buys toys (because he asked) and we tell him the other things we use money for (house, food, clothes, car, etc). I have a feeling that he will soon put two and two together and ask us for his money to buy some toy that he likes. We're prepared to tell him the money is in savings for college, but he's only 4 and I'm not sure he'll fully comprehend. Do you think a small (very small) allowance is good at this age so that he can feel like he's got access to money? Or are we rushing it?

Thanks, Blogger Mom


ang3lz 8 years ago

Great hub. I am also the mother of 2. I have a 2 year old that gets on my nerves when he does all that whining and screaming. He's a sweetheart and does what I ask him to do...just hate when he has those little fits. I also have a 4 month old. He is fat to be so young. I don't use cereal in his milk but he is 17 pounds...gotta slim that little kid down some. Keep up the good work with your hubbing...

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