Video: Helping Kids Understand What They Truly Want

Video: The Best Response to "I Want" | www.TheHeavyPurse.comI believe that helping kids build a healthy relationship with money is one of the most loving gifts you can give your kids. It may not mean much to them at the moment, but it has the power to change their life. I know it did for me. My father gave me this powerful gift and I am doing the same with my daughters because the most important thing we do as parents is not instruct our kids, but teach them to think for themselves, including how they use their money.

3 Ways to Help Kids Think For Themselves

Kids are sponges. They mimic the behaviors and beliefs of their parents, friends, and what they see on TV or in the movies. Sometimes, they only know how to follow and don’t learn how to think for themselves. This is dangerous, so when it comes to teaching kids about money, we need to help them learn how think for themselves, not just what’s right or wrong.

Demonstrate Behaviors You Want Kids to Emulate

Lectures seem to be universally despised by kids, so unless there is a very specific reason as to why a money lesson must be lecture, I try to find teachable moments instead. This way I can demonstrate the behavior I want to teach the girls without it feeling like they are being “taught”. We are just having a discussion and their opinions matter.

TIP: Remember, our kids are always observing us. So practice what you preach 24/7. They will notice if you don’t and rightfully call you out.

Explain the “Why” Behind My Actions or Thought Process

As a parent I understand how chaotic life can be and sometimes saying “no” or “because I said so” is a lot easier and faster than giving a full explanation. However, I encourage you to slow down and explain your thought process behind your choices. In other words, talk out loud and tell your kids what things you consider when you make purchases.

Respect Their Decisions Even if You Disagree

This is a hard one; I know. As parents, it is our job to protect our kids, but I still give the girls lots of latitude in how they choose to use their money. Why? Because my goal is for Lauren and Taylor to be able to think for themselves. This means having the confidence to make good decisions and trusting themselves to figure it out. So I respect their decisions, including celebrating their wise ones and helping them understand where they went wrong when they make a bad one.

The Best Answer to “I Want”

As a Mom, I understand the desire to always say “yes” because I want to give my girls everything their hearts desire too. But I know “yes” isn’t always the right answer and neither is “no”. So what is the right answer? In my short video, I walk you through the best response and how it helps kid figure out what they truly want.

How do you respond to your child’s “wants”? How are you teaching your kids to think for themselves?


April 24, 2015  •  4 Comments  •  Videos

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  1. Friday, April 24th, 2015
    I love that you say you try to teach the money lessons at times when it won't seem like a lecture. That's great because I think kids will respond to it a lot better and learn more if it isn't at a time when they feel they are in trouble or getting "just another lecture" from parents. That's how I would've been as a kid anyhow :)
  2. Saturday, April 25th, 2015
    I agree that kids are like sponges because they just absorb what they see in and feel from the environment. So, as parents, we should be like their role models and whenever they have questions, we should respond to it really well like by putting the cookies on the lower shelf.
  3. Saturday, April 25th, 2015
    I agree with you that kids are sponges because they normally absorb what they see in and feel from the their environment. So, we as parents should be their role models and whenever they have questions, we should respond to it really well by putting the cookies on the lower shelf.
  4. Wednesday, July 8th, 2015
    My kids are all under seven so they never have their own money on them when we go shopping. When they ask for something that isn't in my budget I always ask them if they have any money. When they say no I point out that I try to take good care of my money to make sure we have enough for all the things we need and some of the things that we want.

    Basically I really try to focus on the why we don't just buythings instead of on the no. My son has taken this to heart and has more than $50 saved toward his first car. He's six so he still has some time to get that built up.
  • Meet Shannon

    "As a Certified Financial Planner, it is my passion to help individuals and families build a healthy relationship with money. I look forward to helping you raise financially confident kids.” - Shannon Ryan