It’s been such a long time (over 3 months) that I blogged and I must sincerely apologize. A lot has happened to me these past 3 months but the main news is that; we have a new addition to our family – a boy, he arrived in July. Each day I look at my 3 children and can’t believe they are mine. I am so grateful to God for en-trusting them to me.
Motherhood is a lot of work and I am trying my best to be a good mother. I want my children to love God and have the right values about life, I want them to be satisfied and happy with their life, I want them to be responsible citizens and have good financial morals and not greedy people. it’s never too early to start teaching our children on healthy financial habits. Being a master over ones finances is so important and after a few instances with my daughters, I realized it was time to start teaching them simple financial habits and money values.
Have you ever noticed that toddlers from very humble background don’t make unnecessary demands and throw tantrums when they don’t get to have an item/toy that they want purchased for them. One day while making my hair at the salon, my 4year old toddler demanded for an ice cream, I initially said no and told her I didn’t have extra money. She pointed to my ATM and told me to go get the money. After much pressure I succumbed to her demand. Meanwhile, my stylist daughter who was few months younger than my daughter also requested for an ice cream and her mum told her outrightly that there was no money. She understood the message and continued playing with her worn out doll.
I kept replaying that event in my head and realized that these women/parents have indirectly been teaching their children about money. These kids understand that they can’t get what they want all the time, they understand contentment and they practise delayed gratification.
I made up my mind that day to start deliberately teaching my toddlers about money. Here are six financial lessons that I feel are appropriate for their little mind and brain to grasp.
1.) Money doesn’t automatically grow in an ATM, therefore things bought with it shouldn’t be wasted: I made them to realise that mummy and daddy work really hard to make money and that it does not come automatically from the ATM. To buttress this lesson, I made my eldest daughter do a lot of chores and paid her N50. We bought biscuits with her earned money. None of those biscuits got wasted, she carefully wrapped back the portion she couldn’t finish. That day marked the end of her wasting food as I constantly remind her how daddy and mummy works hard to provide for them.
2.) Learn to be content with what you have: We went visiting a family friend some few months ago and I was taken aback at the number of toys their children had. I thought they were regular toys but when I inquired about their prices, I was shocked to hear that some were bought as high as N45,000. On getting home, my first daughter who is 4 years became dissatisfied with her toys and demanded that we buy her those exact toys. I sat her down and explained on how she should be happy with whatever mummy and daddy has bought for her and that it does not matter the kind of toys as long she has stuffs to play with . Similar instances like this keep coming up and I keep reminding her about contentment.
3.) Practise delayed gratification: I used to dread taking my daughters to the supermarket with me. Their little hands will wander about and they will demand that I buy items that I never planned to thereby making me go over my budget. I decided to involve my older daughter anytime am drawing up the grocery list. So now, when we go shopping together and she demands for an item, I simply tell her that we didn’t include that in our shopping list hence we can’t buy it now but if she holds on a little while till our next shopping, I will buy double of what she wants. It took a while, but she now fully understands that it’s not OK to pick things off the shelf and expect mommy to automatically pay for it.
4.) Develop a saving habit: I continually teach my daughters that it’s not all the money they get that should be spent immediately on biscuits and sweets. My eldest has a piggy box were she keeps part of her cash gifts. I recently took some money from it to buy her the water gun she has always wanted. That’s currently her best toy and she does not let anyone touch it. She is presently saving towards the cooking utensils toy she saw at the store.
5.) it’s good to give and share: I sing it all the time that it’s good to share, it’s good to give.We live on a street that houses different classes and income bracket. When we stroll out for fresh air and I decide to give her a threat, I ensure she gives these children from really humble background part of it. I also ensure she is with me each time am giving out her old cloths/toys to the less privileged.
6.) Never take what doesn’t belong to you: One day I saw a strange toy with my eldest daughter. She sneaked it into her bag from school. I sat her down and explained to her that it wasn’t OK to take things that does not belong to her without asking the owner for permission.
I pray that these lessons are forever embedded in their hearts.
God bless our mothers, God bless all women, and God bless us all.