What values about money do you teach kids?

I was reflecting on how I approach money with Clover, and how the adults around me spoke to me about money. I don’t feel I am particularly principled when it comes to cash, and my family was very poor. We got a ridiculous allowance, something like a quarter a week or something, so it was not really a part of our family’s culture, except to demonstrate how much poorer we were than others.

Clover gets money from grandparents, and as parents I think @susan and I look for opportunities to tie Clover’s cash to some Clover-specific consequence. For example, “you save up money until you have enough to afford that toy”.

But if Susan and I discuss a serious budgetary subject, anything that requires planning between us, Clover wants to get involved, and even contribute. And my thinking is, “okay, but your little amount won’t even dent this, and you will have to worry about this a lot when you get older so how about you just keep your cash monies for toys and candy (and the few chances we offer those for purchase)”.

And that is dismissive, the same way the adults around me weren’t taking me serious or teaching me what I wanted. And when I am confronted by something like that, I muster the effort it takes to compensate, I’d go out of my way to explain what is happening and why… except, is this a subject I want to spend the effort on?

I work with money more and more, because the direction of the web is for folks to make the monies. So I think about it a lot, as a system. And it is easy for me to think of it as a transaction-based value ledger. I also have to provision hardware for years at a time, and invoice quarterly, so I think of money as a pain-in-the-ass math problem I have to constantly solve in order to keep such soft, hydrated hands. Simpler math is doing manual labor for hourly payments, but fuck that, amirite? :slight_smile:

It is also easy for me to think of as an arbitrary system because it is an arbitrary system and burn it all down. Er, I meant I am not sure if I want to learn the skills required to teach the skills required for Clover to be good at capitalism.

If you are a peon living next to an arena those in power use to throw events to distract from everyone’s pain and suffering at their hands, do you raise your kid to be a gladiator?

That is a quote from my head when I am laying in bed thinking of ways to get people to empathize with me…

So I alternate between taking money way too serious and not serious at all, and am afraid if I should encourage my kid to be good at one thing that seems to hurt the most people. Got all that? Cool, what are you doing?

I enjoy the “peon…gladiator” quote. Mostly commenting to say that.

I’m not raising anyone and find it hard to imagine doing so. Abstractly though, maybe I’d think about abstracting away from money. Even in a world without money, experience with planning and making tradeoffs would be an assethelp one get through life. Maybe treat money as an example rather than objective.

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Just tons and tons of rambling here:

When H gets cash, it goes in his wallet. He plays with it. It’s the same as play money. Eventually he’ll want something that we don’t want to buy him and we’ll confess that he has his own money he can use :slight_smile:

We have a friend with a 7yo who figures out the prices for all the toys he gets as presents, and then wants to exchange the toys for money to buy other toys with and it doesn’t quite work that way.

There’s an idea that intrinsic motivation is better than extrinsic motivation, and so you should avoid bribing your kids as much as possible, and sell them on doing chores and otherwise contributing to the family or complying with norms with reason, and by making work fun. But that’s the gold standard. Sometimes a bribe is necessary to get things done (or at least, we’re not principled enough to never bribe our kid)

What I think we haven’t figured out yet is, when we start giving H a cut of our wealth, what he’s supposed to buy with it, and what we’ll still buy for him.

I had a friend in high-school, pretty wealthy family, she got a huge allowance but was also responsible for, like, buying all her own clothes, school supplies and books, etc. Here’s a random blog post in support of that idea: http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2015/02/kids_allowances_you_re_doing_it_completely_wrong.html

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This is something I’m really thinking a lot about lately. I’ve been looking around for some help in this area.

The article @russ shared above gives me a lot to think about.

I was totally already falling into the trap of “you do x chores, you get x monies,” which then would totally backfire when they don’t want money. Chores is something we all just need to do as a family.

Anyway, I may get the book that article references and read through it, distill it down into 5 bullet points and then share here!

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