The Power of Making Choices
In a recent Family Storytime, I announced that we would read about money. A mother, holding her baby, literally gasped. I know that it might seem strange to talk or read about money to very young and even, not so young children. Whether we talk to them or not, they are already gathering information and forming opinions. Research has shown that, just like reading and books, your children are looking to you when it comes to money. Giving them the opportunity to practice making choices is a good first step.
Allow your child to choose their clothes, their breakfast or even what you'll do that day. I find that giving children a choice can even make the day easier. For the most part, they are happier having a voice in their day. It is important to remember that your child might get overwhelmed with too many choices. The choosing will go more smoothly if they only have 2-3 options. Talk about their choices and praise them for making good choices. It's also okay to make mistakes. Like Nina in That Makes Me Mad, children will make the wrong choice and get mad about it. Talk it out and acknowledge their feelings.
For preschoolers, you can start to make the direct connection to money by allowing them to choose one item to buy at the dollar store. The more practice children have when they are small means they will be ready to make the big choices as they get older. Should I buy the flashy sports car or buy the dependable economy car? Should I pay my rent or buy these new shoes or new gaming system? There's a lot of power in making good choices so it's important to start early...especially when it comes to money.
Check out the books and resources below for more fun with choices!