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Every kid wants the latest cool thing. Saying 'no' is hard. 'We can't afford it' is worse.
There are ways to make this conversation easier.
Every parent wants to see their child happy and successful. We want them to feel taken care of. Like they have what other kids have.
But when money is tight, we cannot overspend.
How do we say that to a child?
Explain the situation. When a person buys something they cannot afford, they risk going into debt.
Try not to 'talk down' to your child. Avoid dismissive or insulting phrases like:
These can make your child feel like you:
It is OK to just say 'no'.
They might be upset, but you can help them feel safe and supported through those feelings.
Keep your language simple and straightforward.
Let them know:
This teaches them:
Part of saying 'no' can be about setting goals and working towards them.
Teaching kids to manage money is a crucial skill.
Here are some ideas:
Make sure you stick to your own rules when buying things for yourself. Kids are always watching!
Mental Health UK say: "It’s really not enough to expect young people to just be resilient; we need to help them to build their own resilience, and identify what works for them, and what doesn’t. A key element is giving young people the necessary tools and techniques to help them with problem solving from an early age, something they can then use throughout life."
A fun way to plan is to save up for things you do as a family like:
You could try:
A wish list can help teach kids about delayed gratification.
A wish list can be general, or for a specific event like a birthday.
Either way, it helps your child learn patience and appreciation.
The best way to understand money is to have some.
Ask your child to complete chores to earn money towards what they want.
This teaches them the value of:
It also provides a sense of:
Kids do not need cash if you cannot or prefer not to give pocket money.
Talking about money can be tricky. But starting conversations with children early and teaching them good money habits can have long-term benefits and set your kids up with valuable life skills.
We understand that you might not want to deal with money worries or debt stress over the festive season. Just know that we're here for you when ever you're ready.