I'm not sure about any of your experiences with kids and money but this is an area that I have given scant thought to. However, last week I found myself confronted with this issue and it has forced me to think about how I should teach my kids about money and spending. I decided to take my 4 year old on a shopping trip, just the two of us (without the girls) and hoped that we could spend (pardon the pun) some mummy and son time together getting in the groceries for the week and picking out a few other clothing items since Scotland is at last seeing some sunshine.
My son was excited at the prospect of getting pretty much undivided time with his mum and decided to make the most of it! It is not an exaggeration to say that every 2 minutes we spent in the shop my son would exclaim: 'Can I have this?' Normally this is reserved until we get to that dreaded part in the store where there are a few shelves of toys and books. But this time it was every aisle! He wanted specific kinds of yoghurts, fruit, crisps, sweets, drinks and even when we got to the clothes section he had a paddy (tantrum) when I declined to buy him the new pair of pj's he wanted with the picture of the sports car. I've never experienced anything like it. All of a sudden my son has turned into a shoppaholic and no amount of 'we don't have any money to buy that' or 'you'll need to save up some pennies for that' or 'perhaps this is something that you can get for your birthday' did not cut it with him. So, my big question is: how can I instill in my son a healthy understanding of money and spending and bring up a boy who is more concerned to give than receive?
I have a few ideas. Crosswalk also have their 10 Tips for Teaching Kids about Money. Any more suggestions?