We all know money doesnt grow on trees, but sometimes seems our kids believe that. When my daughter turned four years old, I have realised I should explain her what really money is, where does it come from, etc.
Since we spend every week at least one afternoon in the library, we went through the books about money, saving, issues of poverty etc.
At home we read books we have in our library such as Lemonade in Winter (absolutely brilliant book and I would say a must have at your home library as it teaches kids about need to advertise, counting money, offering discount and determining if money was made or lost, ideal for preschool kids), Money madness (teaching kids about the circle of life of a produced coin), A chair for my mother (about kindness and saving money, showing how it is a long process), Each kindness (very touching book I always cry reaching the end, about poverty, bullying in school due to poverty etc), Jenny found a penny (great for kids to learn to count, add, save, introduces the concept of taxes, Natalia is still confused why do we need to pay taxes hahah, she says its stupid cause it only increases price of everything;)
One of the funny conversations I had with Natalia was when she asked me can I buy her new children magazine Lili Zauberfee. I said I cant cause my salary did not arrive. She confronted me that she knows I have bank card and we can go to any ATM and I can get money (OOPS). Than part of our conversation follows:
Me: You know, mommy has to work to earn that money. What would you like to do in order to make money?N: I want to be a mother.Me: I dont earn money for being a mother, although I wish it was the opposite.N: (all confused just staring at me )M: What would you like to do in order to earn money? Would you like to be a cook? Or a cleaning lady? Maybe you would like to be a dentist?N: No mommy, I want to do experiments just like you (awww I melted and on the other hand realised I still have to hope Miro becomes a football player so someone in our family gets to earn a decent salary:P)
In that moment I have realised I have to make the concept of earning money closer to Natalia, so in order to motivate her to do her everyday chores (making bed, vacuuming her room etc.) I have decided I ll make a list of how much she ll earn for each chore. For example for vacuuming she gets 1 euro, for making bed 10 cents, cleaning after Miro 50 cents, etc. Also there is a negative feedback, in case she doesnt clean her plate from table after dinner she has to pay me back 50 cents, if she leaves mess after painting another 50 cents minus etc. She was never so motivated to do chores!!! Probably not surprising after a week Miro wanted to vacuum as well since he saw it brings biggest amount of money (and he loves icecream:P). So from that moment Natalia doesnt ask me anymore to give her money for icecream, her favorite kids magazines etc.
Additionaly recently I have introduced 3 jars for her, one for spending, one for saving money and one for giving to charity. I must say I am very proud how she distributes the money, guess reading books had a huge impact on that – biggest portion goes to saving (she is saving for new ballet shoes), than charity (she wants to help poor kids whose parents have no money to buy them clothes and food) and smallest amount for immediate spending (e.g. icecream, magazine,,)
How did you introduce concept of money to your kids?