How to UnSpoil Your Kids!
This topic was suggested to me by a friend. Thank you! It’s one that each parent has to wrestle with.
The question is: How do we determine the appropriate balance between what we should buy for our kids and what they should have to save up for and buy themselves?
In today’s world, parents have a lot of conflicting influences in regards to this topic. We want to raise financially savvy kids. But, at the same time, we are bombarded by pleas for this or that.
I’m talking about the never-ending list of stuff they beg us to buy for them daily. Such as candy, phones, toys they see as they walk by a store, the latest popular jacket, the junk by the register at the grocery store, etc.
How do we balance it? Where do we draw the line?
The answer is: We have to determine where the point is in our own spending on the child that allows them to practice good spending habits themselves and also learn to appreciate what they have.
I think it’s easier to start by being overly selective about all the little non-necessities you purchase for them. Make them use their own money to buy it. This may be a big adjustment if they are used to it being the other way. But they will get over it and they will be better for it in the long run.
It does make it easier if you have a discussion in advance of going to the store or to do a particular activity. Let them know what you will and won’t do. That way they can expect it.
For example, if you are leaving for a store, tell them in advance that you are not buying anything that’s not on your list. If they want something else then they need to bring their own money.
You want to reach the point where they EXPECT that they’ll have to spend their own money for all the miscellaneous stuff they want. Then they will appreciate more the things they do get.
From a parenting standpoint, we have to change our way of thinking.
We have to grasp that we are actually helping our kids by NOT buying them everything.
It is GOOD for them to have to plan and save for stuff they want. They will grow into stronger, more self-sufficient adults that way.
It’s not always easy, I know. Often, we see our friends and neighbors buying things for their kids and we feel like we should do it also. We might feel like it’s not fair that our kid doesn’t have that particular thing also. Or maybe, we feel like it reflects on us as not being loving parents or not as financially successful if we don’t spoil our kids like they do. We have to get past this.
Just like with our own finances it often means we will have to ignore our impulses to “keep up with the Jones’s.” We have to realize that being a good parent is actually doing the opposite.