Hi, friends! I’m excited to be here today because it’s time for this month’s Seeking Advice! Seeking Advice is my monthly series where I ask you all for your advice on a sticky parenting topic, and then post the answers a week later. You can check out past Seeking Advice posts here: Bad Language, Stranger Danger
As parents, there are so many questions we may have and for the most part, for each question, there are a million different answers. So where do you start? How do you determine what is the “right” answer? For me, the answer is research and ask around – which is what this new series is going to be for.
About once a month, I ask a question to all of you about an aspect of parenting that is all shades of gray. I’ll ask the question(s), give my own opinion on the matter, and then leave it to all of you lovely people. My hope is that the comments section of this post will fill up with helpful, supportive comments that reflect a number of different points of view. After a week has passed, I will then compile the most helpful comments into one post called, “Advice Found: [insert topic here]”. If you are a blogger, I will include a link back to your blog so that if someone really identifies with your view on something, they can hop over and learn more about you. If you have written a post on the topic in the past, feel free to leave it with your comment – I may link it up! This post will go up on a Sunday, so the Advice Found for this post will go live on July 2. I hope for this series to become a resource for myself and others trying to navigate parenting and life, and a place where we can all be honest, open, and accepting.
I also want to note – if you do not have children, THAT IS FINE! You undoubtedly have an opinion on the topic – someone raised you, and they did XYZ while doing it. What’s your opinion on it? How did you parents handle it? How do you expect others’ children to behave in regards to the topic?
That being said, any negative, rude, or hurtful comments will be deleted without notice. I want everyone to feel comfortable expressing views and opinions without feeling judged or criticized. So let’s get to it!
This month’s topic is brought by request from my friend Jess over at The Acquired Sass: Kids and Money!
Money is such a touchy subject. It can be such an uncomfortable thing to talk about, which I think can make teaching kids about money harder – we don’t want to talk about it, so why on earth would be want to teach it? Also, as parents its a gut instinct to give our kids everything that we are able to and more, so having to put a cap on that in order to not raise children who want and expect everything to come to them can be counter intuitive.
So today, we’re going to cut through it all and talk about kids and money. Chores, grades, spending, saving, jobs – I want to know your opinion on it all! How do you handle the topic of money when it comes to your children? Here’s my take:
Seeking Advice: Kids and Money
Chores. When I was a kid, there was a piece of paper on the fridge at my dad’s house where we lived that was a chore chart, of sorts. Or at least, the least Pinterest-ified, single dad version of a chore chart. It had my brother’s and my name on the top and chores to the left. We would tally how many of each we finished and my dad had a pay rate for each one. Laundry, floors, bathroom etc. It wasn’t the big bucks, but it made our “allowance” – we didn’t get an allowance but we were able to do these chores to make some money. Things like cleaning our own rooms, though, were not paid, since those were expected things that needed to be done before we could go out.
We did get paid for honor roll and straight A’s – I want to say it was $200 for straight A’s and $75 for Honor Roll? Maybe $100 for High Honor Roll. I think I only got A’s once, but it felt damn good. Some people are against paying for good grades, but the way I see it is in the “real world” you get a bonus for exceeding expectations, right? I’ll probably continue both of these with my own kids. (And if not, let’s be real, I bet at least one grandparent will be paying the boys for good grades. Unavoidably spoiled.)
Jobs- this is basic, but as soon as we were 16 my dad expected us to have jobs. We helped him out with small jobs for his own business for as long as I can remember and were paid accordingly. After 16 chores were no longer paid. I will definitely expect for my boys to have a job once able and to pay for their own things once that happens.
I think the most important thing I want to teach my boys about money is how we spend it. This is such a personal thing, but in our family, we have a much higher emphasis on spending money on memories and material items that can aid in that – such as an RV, and amazing vacation, or specific toys and equipment that we can use as a family. We don’t really have “stuff” and live a pretty streamlined life. Personally, I think this is going to make for a more fulfilled childhood – one full of memories and family and experiences, because that’s what we as a family focus on.
But here’s what I don’t know anything about: how to teach kids about money – that it needs to be earned, it isn’t endless, saving… I don’t really remember learning that – I mean, it was taught to me at some point, obviously, but I don’t remember how. I do have a pretty vivid memory of my mom taking my brother and I grocery shopping when I was maybe 5? and she paid with a credit card. I said something along the lines of – oh, so you don’t have to pay for it, right? Which clearly made no sense, but I was 5. But it reminds me that at some point, my own kids will need to be taught that we work for money, and have to be smart about how we spend it.
So here are my questions for this month: How did your parents handle chores and allowances? How do/will you handle it with your children? How do you feel about ‘paying’ kids for grades? How does your family spend money? How do you teach kids about money?
I can’t wait to read all of your answers – it’s my favorite part of the month!!
Don’t forget to check out the past Seeking Advice posts!
Seeking Advice: Kids, Bad Language, and Potty Talk
Advice Found: Kids, Bad Language and Potty Talk
Seeking Advice: Stranger Danger!
Advice Found: Stranger Danger