This is the time of year we all become very reflective, even my young patients. I love to ask them what the holiday season means to them. Some are about wanting while some about giving.
During a recent office visit, I was having a discussion with the mother of young patients of mine. She and her husband had been talking about giving rather than receiving and how to begin to instill those values in their children.
Their children were getting to the age where they wanted an allowance for doing chores: making their beds or setting the table. They decided to start giving their kids $1 a week for allowance.
At the same time, they set up three different banks for their children with jars which were labeled: SPEND, SAVE, GIVE. Each week, their children got to decide how to divide up their dollar, with the caveat that some amount had to go in each jar. (The parents were also clever in that they gave them the dollar in coins).
This mother was commenting on how her children were already understanding the concept of giving and saving, while at the same time learning how much to spend. She found it interesting to listen to her children's comments while they each wrangled with how to divide up the money. She also noted how their different personalities played into the dividing the funds. She found that their reasoning changed each week.
As Christmas and Hanukah drew closer, her children were putting more money in the GIVING jar and talking about why, as well as what, they wanted to do that money. Each of the children had specific ideas of how to GIVE their money and to whom.
I love this idea and think that it is such a clever way to start teaching children about how we all have to divide up our money. It doesn't matter what amount you start with or what age children you have, it works for all! Teaching the basic premise of money management with SPEND, SAVE, GIVE is a lesson for all and what better time of year to discussing GIVING.
That's your daily dose for today. We'll chat again tomorrow.