Last Christmas the air sang with the not-so-sweet sound of kids grumbling that Santa hadn’t brought them what they wanted. They griped that they hadn’t gotten as many presents as their siblings or cousins. They whined that it just wasn’t enough.
The room overflowed with wrapping paper and toys and yet they found reason to complain.
This year I was worried that we’d face the same issue. There was good reason too, this Santa was laaaazy and didn’t go to the extremes she’d gone the previous year. And yet, instead all we heard were the strains of “thank you!” “this is awesome!,” and “I love this!”
Even better, M reported to me that, upon coming down on Christmas morning, he overheard C respond to her cousin’s surprise that people would be out playing in their yards with a neatly outlined, three pronged answer.
“First of all, maybe they don’t celebrate Christmas. Second of all, maybe they’re done opening their presents because they didn’t get as many as us. And third of all, maybe they’re happy with how many presents they got!”
Be still my heart. Maybe, just maybe, a year’s worth of lessons on gratitude have finally sunk in. Maybe she’s finally maturing.
I’ve been thinking about the allowance issue a lot this year. M and I were not given an allowance as children. We were given things that we needed (or at times wanted) when we asked for them. However I would love for my children to understand how to manage money better than I do and I have a hunch that giving them an allowance is the path to that knowledge.
Until this week, I’ve assumed that C wouldn’t get the allowance thing. That she’d spend her cash on the first thing that caught her mind, not really thinking about saving or even gifting parts of it when the right occasions arose. Now I’m starting to think that we might be able to start her small, explain what expectations she needs to meet to get her allowance, and what expectations she needs to meet to manage her money.
I think that the highly visual aspect of Kidworth‘s interface will help me teach her well. We can work together to create savings goals, spending goals, and even sharing goals. Hopefully next time I hear her exclaim “I love this!” it’ll be over something she planned to get for herself and got because she was able to save up her allowance to get it.
This post was inspired and sponsored by Kidworth, a neat site designed to teach kids financial goal setting. Set up Kidworth accounts for the kids in your life and let family and friends help you give them the gift of financial responsibility. Parents set up an account, and kids enter their goals. Whether they are saving up for guitar lessons, or a donation to the local animal shelter, Kidworth can help them achieve their goals.