The Magic of Empowering Kids with Money...and Why You Need To
As a parent, do you ever feel like ‘it’s just easier/quicker to do it myself’. <totally>
And it’s true. There, I said it.
And there may be other reasons that we keep doing things for our kids. Maybe we enjoy being needed. Maybe we don't trust them yet. (OK, that got a little deep and possibly uncomfortable...)
Case in point, heading back to school, I automatically revert to taking care of everything - making lunches, making breakfast smoothies, checking backpacks for notes, etc. And, to be honest, dreading the rushed mornings. But hey, my 11-year-old is more than capable of doing these things. He feels proud when he makes his own smoothie in the morning (and is suddenly empowered to experiment with ingredients). He helps with lunches, does his own laundry, is responsible for his notes, etc.
Doing everything for our kids isn't helpful.
That bears repeating....doing everything for our kids isn't helpful!
We don’t want kids to grow up dependent on us. But that independence doesn’t happen overnight. And empowering kids isn’t just about having them do things. It’s about showing them that we trust them to make their own decisions. It's about letting them learn in the process. And yes, admittedly it takes a little extra effort to get them going, but in the long term, it's worth it.
When we keep away this empowerment, we keep away their independence. And all those opportunities to feel proud of what they've accomplished.
Let's face it, the role of parenting is really about raising kids that are "launch-able" into the world.
My Money Ah-Ha Moment
Before our family started an allowance, we made all the kids’ purchase decisions.
The cycle went something like this:
They would ask for anything and everything they saw. We would usually say no. Every once in awhile we’d say yes. Repeat cycle.
Can you relate?
And when I thought about it, what we were really teaching our kids was:
The ‘yes’ is arbitrary, so ask for everything, since you don’t know when the elusive ‘yes’ will pop up.
Don’t bother prioritizing requests...just throw them all against the wall and see what sticks.
But when we started empowering our kids to manage their own money, they surprised me. They stepped up to the plate….they were thoughtful about their purchases, they learned from their mistakes.
They didn’t necessarily ‘need’ the stuff….but what they needed was for us to give them the opportunity to show what they could handle.
Sometimes is just takes a first step.
Interested in empowering your kids to manage their own money? Download our free Smart Parent's Guide to Launching an Allowance for ideas about starting an allowance. Then pour yourself a cup of tea (or wine…) have a read, and think about how this could fit into your family.
Family Movie Night
Pop the popcorn, and pop in Hotel Transylvania
Join Count Dracula as he struggles with letting is 118 year old daughter grow up.
Lunch Box Notes
Check out our empowerment lunch box notes...a little daily dose of inspiration for your kids.