Can you tell children that his food and clothes cost money?


#1

I was peaking today with my friend and she was complaining how much money the small child is costing her. I believe her.
But it reminded me of my childhood and my parents constantly reminding my sister and me of how much we are costing adnm how much sacrifice they are doing for us. I understand teaching the children to respect the money earn and not to spend too much, not to ask for expensive stuff. But i was wondering if it is normal to complain to the chil that his clothes and food and school is costing very much and that you have to buy these things for him. I rememer i was always feeling guilty but in the end it was not my fault that i existed.
I was wondering expecially the ones of you who have children are talking about these things with your children? What is the border between teaching the child to respect the hardly worked money and making him feel guilty


#2

I don't see why you wouldn't.

Childhood is the best opportunity for people to be taught NOT to take things for granted. A maxim like this, when ingrained in a person's brain and practiced throughout their lives, can often make the difference between a whore and a housewife, or an honorable police officer/chiseled street thug, etc.

Talk to your kids about guilt and tell them not to be guilty about existing, but explain to them that they only have 1 life to live and nothing should be taken for granted.


#3

[quote="Daegus, post:2, topic:230631"]
I don't see why you wouldn't.

Childhood is the best opportunity for people to be taught NOT to take things for granted. A maxim like this, when ingrained in a person's brain and practiced throughout their lives, can often make the difference between a whore and a housewife, or an honorable police officer/chiseled street thug, etc.

Talk to your kids about guilt and tell them not to be guilty about existing, but explain to them that they only have 1 life to live and nothing should be taken for granted.

[/quote]

ofcourse i believe in teaching them respect and not taking things for granted. However my father used to come home and give a long sigh and then say "You have no idea how much you are costing me, how much your food and clothes are costing." I mean it was not my fault that i existed and that i needed to eat and to dress. I mean when i will have children of my own i will also spend for their food and clothes and education. I was feeling bad and guilty when he was telling us this.


#4

I think this is heavy-handed and not the most effective way to teach children about the value of money. Yes, it sure can give children the impression that they should always feel guilty for their very existence, as "Well Mom and Dad always tell me how much I am costing them, maybe they didn't want me in the first place, and if I weren't here, they could go on cruises, have nicer cars, etc." It doesn't take much for kids to get that impression. Even if the parent is very glad the child is in the world, to keep reminding them of how much you are spending to support them is just not a great way to go about it.

Anyway it is in a child's nature to lack an understanding of these things, how would they understand what effort it takes to earn money until they are able to do jobs around the house for a salary?

I have said stuff like that to my teenage son, and I am not proud of it. It is not effective, and it makes him feel bad on top of guilty for what we are willingly doing for him (sacrificing to have him in Jesuit high school). If I examine my own motives, the guilt is really what I am aiming for, not as an end result but that is the default way I try to instill gratitude. (It's what I learned growing up.)

I am pretty sure I can do better than that. It is MY own responsibility to do what I can for my children within reason, and then let go of it. I don't HAVE to send my son to private school, it is a choice we made when they were little, and if it entails a sacrifice, then we are making it willingly. I'm not saying our sons should take anything for granted, just that harping on that sacrifice verbally does not help. It may be true, but it's just not helpful.


#5

My kids know how much things cost for them. They know what their tuition cost. They understand that I am working until midnight to pay for their tuition, and they in turn have not taken it for granted. They work just as hard at school work as I do at earning their tuition money.

They usually went with when grocery shopping when they were younger, and it was always a teaching moment....Brand A of corn costs $x per can while Brand B costs $y per can. We need 5 cans. Which makes more sense? They have all turned out to be quite the savvy shoppers and money savers! My 19 year old will walk into a department store and SCOUR the racks for deals. Over Christmas break he bought $350 worth of clothing for about $75 - all clearanced clothing and all the type of clothing he loves.

The most effective way to teach children the value of money is once they get their own jobs! Then they KNOW how hard they've worked to earn it, and they have to evaluate if they feel it is worth it to spend their dollars on something or not.


#6

[quote="Catholic90, post:5, topic:230631"]
My kids know how much things cost for them. They know what their tuition cost. They understand that I am working until midnight to pay for their tuition, and they in turn have not taken it for granted. They work just as hard at school work as I do at earning their tuition money.

They usually went with when grocery shopping when they were younger, and it was always a teaching moment....Brand A of corn costs $x per can while Brand B costs $y per can. We need 5 cans. Which makes more sense? They have all turned out to be quite the savvy shoppers and money savers! My 19 year old will walk into a department store and SCOUR the racks for deals. Over Christmas break he bought $350 worth of clothing for about $75 - all clearanced clothing and all the type of clothing he loves.

The most effective way to teach children the value of money is once they get their own jobs! Then they KNOW how hard they've worked to earn it, and they have to evaluate if they feel it is worth it to spend their dollars on something or not.

[/quote]

This is the good way to do it. Not complaining that you have spend money on them but making them understand how money are earned and about respect for work. I admire you for the way you raised your children.


#7

My mother used to tell me that she had to sacrifice for me and spend money on me only because she had to, and once I was 18, if I were still living at home, I better know that anything she did for me would be pure charity.

Now, that's more extreme than what you're talking about, but because of the way my mother made me feel all the time, I don't intend to tell my childen how much they cost and how much I'm doing for them. They will understand when they get old enough, and especially when they have their own kids, all that I did for them.

That being said, I do believe it is important to teach our children responsibility and gratitude. They will have their own chores, and get a small allowance, like I did. I will also explain to them how certain things are affordable or not, and necessary or just wants. And I will teach them to say thank-you for extra things they are given, like toys, and for anything that is done for them by other people.


#8

This has more or less been said already but...

The question posed in the thread title isn't really the right question. (Space limitations: I know.) The better question is, "How do I best explain the costs incurred by parents and the sacrifices they make to provide for their children."

Our job as parents is put a positive spin on sacrifice. We are careful with our time and money because we love our children and want to provide the best we can for them. And we want do the work of the Church and provide lots of opportunities for our children to do the work of the Church too. We are trying to be examples of God's love.

It's a tough call trying to teach our children about responsibility in a way that makes them feel secure. But it is what we need to do.

Now that my children are older I have come to understand that we probably try too hard to keep our children "young" as long as possible. I now think that is a mistake. We should keep our children "innocent" as long as possible; but that is quite different from keeping them "non-responsible" for themselves.

I think we need to try harder to make adults out of our children. After all, we are raising parents for our grandchildren.


#9

Yup just don't do it in an accusatory manner, its not the kids fault after all that he/she exists and we aren't doing anything more than giving them what justice requires of us as parents.

"But if any man have not care of his own, and especially of those of his house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." 1 Timothy 5:8


#10

[quote="SMHW, post:8, topic:230631"]

Now that my children are older I have come to understand that we probably try too hard to keep our children "young" as long as possible. I now think that is a mistake. We should keep our children "innocent" as long as possible; but that is quite different from keeping them "non-responsible" for themselves.

I think we need to try harder to make adults out of our children. After all, we are raising parents for our grandchildren.

[/quote]

I agree with the above. One of our duties is to do our best to raise children to be successful adults who contribute to the good of society not to keep them childish, immature, dependent burdens on everyone else.


#11

I think you can depending on the child's personality and age. If a child (at least school age) disrespects his necessities, throws food on the floor, purposefully destroys his cloths, or new shoes, etc, it could be a way to make him understand the consequences of his actions. (Similar to making kids pay for broken windows).


#12

You shouldn't avoid telling them that their upkeep is not free and requires work and money from you. How can they be grateful if they are never reminded that someone makes sacrifices for them to live, let alone enjoy life? This is one of the ways we explain to our own children why they need to work around the house: those with the means to contribute have an obligation to do so, because none of us gets to adulthood on our own efforts.

Since you control the purse strings and freely welcomed the blessing (and obligation) of parenthood, though, you ought not complain. Rather, I think we teach our children that being able to help others with their needs is one of the blessings of the servants of God, and one of the ways you show your gratitude for what your parents did for you and what their parents did for before that. (It is good, too, I think, to let them know that on account of the the Fall, this tends to be an acquired taste! :D)


#13

As several people mentioned, there is a difference between letting your child know that things don't come free and using money to guilt them.

I think it's very important to teach even the youngest children about saving and budgeting, let toddlers do little chores like picking up toys and give them a small allowance (ie 25 cents a chore) that they can save for a small purchase. The bigger they are, the harder they work, the more they make, the more they can spend. I also think it's important to introduce savings, tithing, and buying their own necessities as they grow. When you give your child a background like that it's easy to explain that you work hard and they shouldn't take things for granted.

I grew up pretty privileged and had a lot more “fun money” than most people, and yet because my mother implement such a system I was very aware of the value of things. Now I'm grown, married, and living on a much more modest budget, and yet I never experienced the shock I see so many of these college kids who are off of daddy's pay check and trying to make it day to day.


#14

[quote="Catholic90, post:5, topic:230631"]
My kids know how much things cost for them. They know what their tuition cost. They understand that I am working until midnight to pay for their tuition, and they in turn have not taken it for granted. They work just as hard at school work as I do at earning their tuition money.

They usually went with when grocery shopping when they were younger, and it was always a teaching moment....Brand A of corn costs $x per can while Brand B costs $y per can. We need 5 cans. Which makes more sense? They have all turned out to be quite the savvy shoppers and money savers! My 19 year old will walk into a department store and SCOUR the racks for deals. Over Christmas break he bought $350 worth of clothing for about $75 - all clearanced clothing and all the type of clothing he loves.

The most effective way to teach children the value of money is once they get their own jobs! Then they KNOW how hard they've worked to earn it, and they have to evaluate if they feel it is worth it to spend their dollars on something or not.

[/quote]

That's how we do things, although sometimes while shopping my kids will ask for cookies, sugary snacks, and other "junk" food. Sometimes I'll buy them other times I'll tell them I have to watch my pennies right now so I don't have extra money for those kind of treats. We shop for clothing at goodwill, salvation army, or other thrift stores. My kids know it's used clothing and don't mind. Last year my almost 10 year old was making out his Christmas List for family and he put on there "New clothing from Goodwills". When the relative asked about it he proudly said. "It has cheapest price on clothing!"

I may be shopping at the thrift store, but I won't buy stuff that is stained, holey, etc. It drive me crazy to be looking in the racks and see all the holey, stained, stuff. I CAN go to the mall and buy things, but I choose not too! We even give our clothing back to the salvation army or goodwill when we are done with it. Providing it still nice: stain free, hole free, etc. I can't tell you how many times I've gone in the thrift store only to buy clothing for 50 cents that STILL had the tags on it!!!

I NEVER tell my kids or complain to them about how much they cost me. My kids know I'm FRUGAL! It cares over in my every day shopping. I use coupons, I won't buy something if I feel the price is to high, etc. My kids will want to go to the movies and I'll tell them wait till it's on demand or DVD we'll rent it from the library or video store because that's cheaper. Bottom line mom likes things cheap!! ~that's their opinion of me~

And actually my son at times has SAVED me money! I'll go to pick something up and he'll be wait mom this is cheaper! Bottom line I've never directly have said to the kids things like you cost me to much money, I only have $20 in my checking account, or anything long those lines. I honestly feel sorry for those children.


#15

[quote="cristyd, post:1, topic:230631"]
But i was wondering if it is normal to complain to the chil that his clothes and food and school is costing very much and that you have to buy these things for him. I rememer i was always feeling guilty but in the end it was not my fault that i existed.
I was wondering expecially the ones of you who have children are talking about these things with your children? What is the border between teaching the child to respect the hardly worked money and making him feel guilty

[/quote]

I never, ever, ever complain to my kids that they cost me too much money (they don't) or tell them that I am sacrificing anything for them. They know finances are tight and live with it every day just like I do.

By the way. If you want keep you kids from developing the "you owe me bigtime" mentality, dump cable and severely limit their time with the boob tube.

My wife did it despite my whining about it. I'm so glad she did!


#16

Boy, there are some great ideas and really sound advice in this thread. I'll have to read it again.

I have tried never to make a child feel like they are a burden to me. They (hopefully) understand that they have a right to their place in the family. Sometimes when they start asking for things that are excessive, or they get sulky because they want something, I'll explain about how we have to be careful, and that if we buy lots of toys, then there won't be any money for food or clothes. I try to get them to understand that the extra stuff can only be bought when the necessities are covered. It's not about them being a drain on our funds, but that we have expenses that must be covered, and the available money is finite.

My dream would be to teach them to save their money and set themselves up for later, but that's still a way down the track for us.


#17

[quote="Mommyof02green, post:14, topic:230631"]
That's how we do things, although sometimes while shopping my kids will ask for cookies, sugary snacks, and other "junk" food. Sometimes I'll buy them other times I'll tell them I have to watch my pennies right now so I don't have extra money for those kind of treats. We shop for clothing at goodwill, salvation army, or other thrift stores. My kids know it's used clothing and don't mind. Last year my almost 10 year old was making out his Christmas List for family and he put on there "New clothing from Goodwills". When the relative asked about it he proudly said. "It has cheapest price on clothing!"

I may be shopping at the thrift store, but I won't buy stuff that is stained, holey, etc. It drive me crazy to be looking in the racks and see all the holey, stained, stuff. I CAN go to the mall and buy things, but I choose not too! We even give our clothing back to the salvation army or goodwill when we are done with it. Providing it still nice: stain free, hole free, etc. I can't tell you how many times I've gone in the thrift store only to buy clothing for 50 cents that STILL had the tags on it!!!

I NEVER tell my kids or complain to them about how much they cost me. My kids know I'm FRUGAL! It cares over in my every day shopping. I use coupons, I won't buy something if I feel the price is to high, etc. My kids will want to go to the movies and I'll tell them wait till it's on demand or DVD we'll rent it from the library or video store because that's cheaper. Bottom line mom likes things cheap!! ~that's their opinion of me~

And actually my son at times has SAVED me money! I'll go to pick something up and he'll be wait mom this is cheaper! Bottom line I've never directly have said to the kids things like you cost me to much money, I only have $20 in my checking account, or anything long those lines. I honestly feel sorry for those children.

[/quote]

Wow i agree with teaching kids the value of money but this is a little too extreme for me. I don't buy clothes from salvation army or goodwill. You don't need to go to the mall to buy clothes. If you know where to look you will find shops with good quality clothes but for a good price. I never buy expensive clothes but i want them to be of a little quality so they will last longer. We have an expresion in our country. "We are too poor to buy cheap things." it doesn't mean buy only expensive stuff. It means that sometimes the most cheap things are not the best quality and they last less, you have to buy them again and again and in the end they cost you more money.

In the everyday shopping I also like to see the quality comparing with the price. Sometimes the cheapest vvegetables or fruits or milk products are also the ones full of chemicals and unatural and can be bad for the health.

I also prefer to buy the dvd however there are some movies i want to see in cinema and i don't want to wait. It is not the same thing as on dvd. You have to allow yourself also some pleasures in life. You don't need to spend a lot of money and it doesn't have to be an everyday thing but you must allow yourself to live a little. See a movie in the cinema, go on a trip, have something special from time to time.

Botom line here what i like in life is balance. I don't like exagerated things: exagerated spending of money or exagerated saving. I believe in balance and this is what I want to teach my children. Balance between price and quality, balance in explaining your children that you are working hard for the money but not making them guilty about it, i believe in balance in general in everything in life.

This is also what i understadn from most of the answers i read here. We must teacht the children to be responsable adults. To lead a balanced life. We must teach them to respect the money and learn how they are made. But this does not mean that they can't have a treat from time to time if they had earned it. If my child will do well in school, behave, did all his chores i will allow him from time to time to go to the cinema with his friends or have an icecream in the city.


#18

Maybe it's wrong, but DD is not even 2 yet and if she throws food or toys or messes up something on purpose, I sometimes tell her that daddy worked hard to give her xyz because he loves her. Also, when DH is going to work DD sometimes doesn't want him to leave, and I will tell her daddy has to go because he is working hard so we can (list off a few things we like to do). I kind of want her to understand that he's not just abandoning us, that he loves us so much he's going to work so we can all do things we love to do.
Do you think this could be damaging? I would certainly never mean to say anything in a way that made her feel like she was putting a burden on us or make her feel guilty.


#19

[quote="OSUbride0708, post:18, topic:230631"]
Maybe it's wrong, but DD is not even 2 yet and if she throws food or toys or messes up something on purpose, I sometimes tell her that daddy worked hard to give her xyz because he loves her. Also, when DH is going to work DD sometimes doesn't want him to leave, and I will tell her daddy has to go because he is working hard so we can (list off a few things we like to do). I kind of want her to understand that he's not just abandoning us, that he loves us so much he's going to work so we can all do things we love to do.
Do you think this could be damaging? I would certainly never mean to say anything in a way that made her feel like she was putting a burden on us or make her feel guilty.

[/quote]

No i don't believe it is wrong. If damaging toys yes you can tell that you worked hard to buy her the toy and that other kids don't have toys. it's teaching responsability.

Maybe the title made my thread misunderstood. I am sorry. English is not my first language. In my case it was not about damaging or breaking or not taking care of things. It was only the idea that "I need to buy you food and clothes and these are costing me so much money."This was kind of a reminder and it made me feel guilty because i couldn't help it that i needed food and clothes


#20

[quote="OSUbride0708, post:18, topic:230631"]
Maybe it's wrong, but DD is not even 2 yet and if she throws food or toys or messes up something on purpose, I sometimes tell her that daddy worked hard to give her xyz because he loves her. Also, when DH is going to work DD sometimes doesn't want him to leave, and I will tell her daddy has to go because he is working hard so we can (list off a few things we like to do). I kind of want her to understand that he's not just abandoning us, that he loves us so much he's going to work so we can all do things we love to do.
Do you think this could be damaging? I would certainly never mean to say anything in a way that made her feel like she was putting a burden on us or make her feel guilty.

[/quote]

I mean this with all respect and I do think you are a good mom. I don't think you are instilling guilt at all in your 2 year old. However, I don't think what you are doing is 100% right either.

My opinion is, you are aking a 2 year old to reason at a mental level that is much more advances. A six year old may be able to understand daddy works hard. 2 year olds have NO concept of money because they are too young to get it.

As a mom, I am sure it breaks your heart to see all the food that goes to waste because she threw it. Not to mention the evergy you spent making her meal and now you have to start all over. I think it would be better to teach her 'throwing food is not a nice behaviour and there will be a time out'. That is something a 2 year old is much more capable of understanding. She probably can't even count yet and even if she does count, she thinks she is reciting a poem, she has no idea of the numerical value

God Bless

CM


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