I know that my kids are not old but I feel like it is never to young to start learning important lessons. Here is one thing the boys are learning about right now-
Garret picked out a set of pirates for Spencer for Christmas. They both love them. Inside of the box was a little advertisement for other pirate things that go with the ones they got. They sit and look at it all the time. They really really really want to get more pirates.
I don't think it's right to just give them the pirates just because they really want them. But if they really want them I'll try to find a way to help them get them. So they are learning about money and saving. It's been very fun watching them. They went through their toys and picked out a bunch to try and sell on craigslist. This serves a dual purpose (gets rid of a lot of junk, I hate stuff that just sits around and doesn't get used and they get to make money off of it). They have also been collecting cans. We took a bag full the other night to turn in and they got 75 cents. They were thrilled. They also plan to shovel the neighbors sidewalk.
After they turned the cans in they were holding the money and they wanted to buy candy. I told them if they bought the candy they wouldn't have as much for pirates. They decided to save for the pirates. They also set their tithing money aside first.
I think they are having as much fun trying to make the money as they are going to have with the pirates. It's cute too because they are starting to understand it. They are starting to understand why they can't just have things when they want them, how they have to think about what they want before they buy it, how it can take a long time to get what they want but if they really want it they can find a way to get it.
I won't pay them for jobs at home, I think jobs at home should be done just because they are part of the family. They don't expect me to pay them either which is nice. They still have a lot to learn but I think they will get there. I am glad it is taking a while. I think it is good for them. Delayed gratification is an important principle.
I really feel like money management is a huge thing that kids have to learn. I also think it is good for them to hear that they can't have things sometimes and that it is too expensive or not worth the money. I think it's good for them to experience wanting something and having to wait or do without.
I will have to give an update on how their quest for the pirates is coming but for now they are having fun coming up with the money and I think if they ever do earn them they will appreciate them more than any other toy that was just handed to them.
Here is a secret though...ssshhh...don't tell the boys- I knew they loved the pirates and when I was at the store after Christmas I found two sets for 75% off and bought them. I planned to put them away until next Christmas. So really the pirates are just sitting down in the basement. Is it wrong that I still think they should earn them, even though I could just hand them over?
I wish I were an expert...but it's sure fun trying to teach them! Anyone have any great advice for me?