“Our fragments of wisdom about money are often gleaned during episodes of shame, guilt or pride, learned from someone we resent or respect — or imparted by someone we love...”. Let us look at some of kids conversations which directly or indirectly deal with money.
Ara is 3 years old and he always wants a candy. When his mother says There is no more he tells her, “Go buy some.” When Mother says “I have no money”. “Get it from ATM” quips Ara.
Alina is 6 years old. Her best friend got a doll as a gift from her aunt who lived in USA. She also wants the same doll. Her parents promise to buy doll but she whines, “ I never get what I want. It’s not fair”.
Overheard at a toy shop, “But I really need this bay blade”, said the kid, “No you have enough bay-blades at home”, replied the parents. But all my friends have it .
“We bought one last week only. I don’t feel you need it.” Even Tav bought one last week and his parents bought him this one. He has 10 more bay blades than me. , remarked the kid. “Money doesn’t grow on trees”, replied his father and walked off with the child crying after him “If Tav can have why can’t me…You never buy me anything “
WHEN five year old Ann celebrated her birthday.instead of the usual sweets she distributed fancy barbie pencil boxes for girls and Ben10 boxes for boys to her classmates. Her birthday gifts included a Casio keyboard, a talking doll and an inflatable pool etc.
A friend’s daughter about eight years in age while watching a T.V program about recession on a news channel, offered to give up her pocket money . Her mother , “No we don’t need your pocket money. We have enough. “ Then buy me an iPod”, asked the daughter.
Two Twelve year kids Tanya and Shelly were talking,“My father has 4 credit cards” , said Tanya. Shelly said, “But my father has six. We buy all our things on credit cards. My new Wii is also bought by credit card.” Tanya remarked, “The credit card seems to be magical thing only bad thing is when the credit card bill comes, my father and my mother have a fight on amount of bill. “
It was when son called home for more money for the fourth time in two months that his father lost temper. Son was studying for a post graduation degree and was a decent amount of money was put in the bank account to manage for a semester. Is his son simply squandering his fathers money? The father remarked “At his age I was maintaining a household with wife, parents and two kids l“. Then the mother asked,. “We never allowed our son to handle money.. How can he suddenly take care of himself and his money?”
Al graduated from college and finds a job. Now he feels he is king of the world as he has his own money and doesn’t need to ask his parents. He buys new branded clothes for himself and gifts for every one in family. He informs his parents that he is planning to buy a vehicle. His father asks, “You have just started a job, your company provides you a bus service why do you need a vehicle? And where will you get the money from? You have spent all your salary of this month.” “No father, I bought these clothes on credit card. With my salary account bank also offered me a credit card. And to buy car I will take a Loan. “ “But you need to pay your credit card bill and loan” “ I will pay minimum amount on my credit card and pay EMI”. “Do you know what you are getting into..”, quizzed the father. “Everyone is doing the same…so I will figure out..you don’t worry.”
Are kids to be blamed for their financial behavior? How can parents help their kids in this age. Let us not forget that The rules of money don’t change from age 6 months to 60 years. The relative heaviness or lightness of the journey through life depends on how clearly monetary goals are articulated.