Early on Randy and I decided that we would watch what we say to our kids about our money situations. When I was a kid I knew way too much about our money situation. My Mom was a single Mom raising three kids and she did the best she could. As far as I’m concerned we had everything we needed. The problem was that I was always told that we didn’t have any money. Being a kid I didn’t know what that meant. I didn’t know if we were going to get kicked out of the house or if that meant that we just couldn’t get the toy I wanted. Either way, as a child I thought too much about money.
A child can’t do anything to help the parent make more money. That being true, there’s no sense in children knowing the details of the money situation.
If we’re at the store and the kids want something, regardless if I can afford it or not my response is:
3. Not right now.
4. You should save up for it.
I do not tell them that I don’t have enough money for it.
What about when you’re at the store and you are buying a few things, but when your child asks you to buy something for him you say no? The kid wants to know why you get to buy something but he doesn’t.
This is when you have to remember that you’re the parent. You just say, “This is what I’m buying today and nothing else. I don’t want to spend my money on anything else today.”
That’s it. You’re the parent. You’re the one with the money. That’s not cruel or harsh. You do not involve the child in the bill paying and you don’t involve the child in the shopping unless that’s what you’ve gone to the store to do.
So, my advice is: Watch what you say to your kids about money. There’s no need to put a burden on them that is premature.