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Money, Parents, Character: Avoid These 10 Mistakes!

By Jean Tracy, MSS

What do money and character have in common? More than we first think. If you could teach your children about money, how would you do it? Look inside to find out how to build character in your kids without making 10 mistakes about money.

It's been said money doesn't buy happiness. If you teach your kids to get without giving, it won't buy them happiness either.

The more you give your kids money, the more they'll expect. Let's pretend you were raised in poverty. Your parents didn't have two wooden nickels. You're determined your kids will never feel the pain of doing without. So what do you do?

Selling out on Character:

Whenever your children ask for money, you reach deep in your pockets and give it to them. As they grow they want more, so you dig deeper. Please realize you get what you pay for? In this case you get spoiled kids with spoiled characters.

When kids don't earn their way with good behavior, good grades, and chores well done, they become selfish and lazy. I've counseled many parents whose children were nice only when they asked for money. "Please, please, please," they begged. "I'll pay you back. I promise." Their kids' tone of voice was so refreshing that, you guessed it, the parents dug deeper and handed over the money. What's wrong with this picture?

Character Problems for Getting Without Giving:

Getting without giving teaches your children to live in a "make believe world." They grow up thinking the world owes them whatever they want. They learn to sit back rather than try. They become less than they could have been because they never learned the joy of effort, earning, and accomplishing. You mistakenly stole the joy from them. You gave without getting something positive in return.

These character problems didn't have to happen. You see, it's not enough to love our children, we must train them too.

Mistakes that Can Happen When Kids Become Takers and Not Givers:

They earn bad grades in school
They whine when things are difficult
They give up without trying
They break rules to get what they want
They lie to get what they want
They cheat at schoolwork and games
They expect rewards without effort
They lose friendships
They lose jobs
They get what they want illegally

Conclusion: Building Character with Money:

Don't sell your kids down the river. Teach them to work for what they want. Use chores, grades, and positive behaviors for earning the money you give them. You'll get paid thrice. You'll get paid with genuine pride for training them to be givers. You'll get paid with co-operation by creating a happier home. You'll get paid with satisfaction by building character in your kids. Finally build character with money the right way. You can do it. I know you can.

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Jean Tracy, MSS publishes a Free Parenting Newsletter. Subscribe at www.KidsDiscuss.com and receive 80 fun activities to share with your kids.

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