On May 18th I did a post about children and financial literacy. For the most part I usually post about something I have done or something I will start doing in the near future.
I started a couple of months ago, teaching my 4 yr old the value of change and coin recognition. She loves it and is very interested. We have used real money and play money, she prefers the real thing.
As a good steward it's my job to teach my children how to spend, save and give away money. The more they do this as children, the better off they will be as responsible adults. So here is the conversation my 4 year old daughter and I had.
I was talking to her about how she was to distribute her $7 which she acquired over a weekend. I explained that she should spend some, save some and give some away. So I began to show her with her money how to divide it up. She was fine with the spending part, she was excited about putting some in her pink princess piggy bank, however, it was different with the "give some away" part.
I said to her "now these $2 you can give away". She gave me a look that said "what did you just say?" then she said " I'm so sorry I can't give this away, this is real money." This was not going to be easy. I explained to her that we should always help others and that God wants us to give some money away but we get to keep most of it. She told me "I don't want to give my money away". I tried this tactic "God always blesses us when we give and He gives back to us" to which she said "God is not coming to my house". Oh well, back to the drawing board!
Is this the same little girl that always tells her brothers "God likes it when you share"? Of course that's when she wants something that they have...too funny.
This confirmed my point, children have to practice giving and sharing. Their motto "mine, mine, mine"! Pretty typical of a child. I say this is typical because I began asking around and found out this is the attitude of most kids at this age...they are not interested in giving any money away. At least I'm not alone in the struggle!
So how did it end? I figured I would not force the issue of giving right now, so I took a different approach, one to soften the blow for her. I encouraged her to purchase something to share with her brothers or the entire family, a big bag of chips, some ice pops, whatever $2 could buy. To this she said "OK"...voila'. I think we have hit upon something!
It's not quite "giving" her money away, yet. But at least I have her moving in the right direction of sharing something she purchased with her money. Who would have thought a 4 year old could hold on to a buck so tight? Sounds like some of us adults, maybe?
Oh well, here's to small beginnings!
Remember. "True empowerment comes through stewardship".