Dr Phil has often said that kids who have everything value nothing. That is why teaching kids about the importance of budgeting and saving for what they want is so important. Coming from a very large family, new toys were usually reserved for Christmas and birthdays and hand me downs were the norm. Did this harm me or my siblings in any way? Not at all. In fact because my parents were smart with money they were able to make sure that we always had everything we needed. It also taught us to take care of and appreciate everything that we had. As we got older we would earn money such as baby sitting and mowing lawns to earn our own spending money. And by working for it we learned to take good care of everything we had.
If you think about it; every time you do give in and buy your child that hot new toy or video game it makes those special occasions such as holidays and birthdays seem a little less special. Sure, Christmas isn't just about the gifts but there is something magical about that day for children who patiently wait to see what Santa brings them. For kids who have everything it just seems a little less magical.
Giving a Child Allowance
It is never too late to start teaching your children to appreciate what they have. Giving a child allowance for chores each week is a good way to start them on a path to good spending habits. An allowance is also a good way to teach children not only to save up for the things they want but that they can't get everything that they want at one time. Your child will also feel a sense of accomplishment since they earned it.
Teaching a Child to Save and Give
As your children gets used to budgeting you can also teach about saving. Don't force them but do encourage it. Teaching a child to save part of their allowance and money that they received as gifts while watching their savings grow gives a great feeling of accomplishment. And while you are at it you can teach the importance of giving to charity. Even a preschooler can be taught the concept of giving when you encourage them to put change in the Salvation Army kettle each Christmas or donate used toys to goodwill.
Children may not always like the idea of waiting to get what they want but then again many adults are like that too. However, in time your children will learn to take care of what they have and really appreciate those occasions when they do get something special.