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