I think parents should find a time to discuss financial struggles when the kids aren't around.
It's just not fair to burden them with this issue.
You can discuss things with your child without worrying them about not having enough money for groceries.
We are in a fortunate position where finding money for groceries has never been an issue but we still discuss being financially responsible and teach it to our kids.
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09-05-2016 22:05 #31
WWYD- unwanted mother's day gift
10-05-2016 04:39 #32-
- Join Date
- Apr 2012
I'm not saying this to be hurtful. Your boy sounds like a wonderful young man. Just if there's anything you can do so he's not so aware of your struggles - your DS will benefit from that.
10-05-2016 05:48 #33
I love the idea of using the money to do something that is just the 2 of you that he would find to be a treat. I get the vouchers from pancake parlour and take DD. She knows to not even bother asking if I don't have a voucher in my purse - she knows her cheapskate mum too well already!
We don't struggle with money but do stick to a budget and I talk to DD about this a lot. At 8 she can now do the math when I tell her that making a hot chocolate and home made cookies costs about $1 but the cafe will cost at least $7 just for her. She doesn't stress about money, but is growing a really good money sense. She gets money for chores and will sometimes offer to pay for something when I say we can't afford it. I think it is really sweet but I usually explain that it is her money to treat herself and that whatever it is we don't 'need', hence why I choose to use our money for something else.
10-05-2016 07:25 #34
WWYD- unwanted mother's day gift
I never 'got' why my family wouldn't go on holidays, ate home brand food, never had the 'in' things and mum would pack a lunch while all my friends could buy there's when at an event... I can clearly remember the time I pushed and pushed my mum telling her she was being unfair not letting me (or my 3 siblings) buy a burger ... She was trying to deflect the situation and eventually got upset and said 'I'm sorry sweety, I really want to... We just can't afford it. I spent the last of the money in this trip' (a sporting thing).
I honestly never realised we had no money until that point and it shifted the selfish little child in me... Made me much more empathetic and appreciating all the great things I had and did. I'm great with budgeting to this day and I'm happy. Not only that but I'm considerate towards my friends with financial troubles and I always hold very little value in materialistic things. I think I could have been a very demanding child until my mum opened up to me.
I'm now a single parent in a great financial position but even my son says 'don't waste your money on take away mum, just cook something at home' when I want to buy something. He's not stressed, he has all he needs and way more... But he is aware just like I was.
OP I think your son has done a beautiful thing and he sounds like an empathetic gorgeous boy. If he spent his money on a gift for you I'm sure you'd keep it... This is just the same imo. I wouldn't dismiss it or try to give it back... He's obviously thought hard about it and it could possibly shatter his little heart for you to give it back.
Also, in the future I'd be careful about informing him that his $20 would barely help... But instead follow the 'every bit helps' mantra... As this is something he can apply his whole life. You'd prob hate for him to grow up thinking 'well I won't pay $20 off my card cos the balance is so high' or 'well I won't bother doing a few dishes cos the pile is so big' or I won't bother starting my assignment now because I won't finish it in time'.
Sounds to me like you've already done a wonderful job in raising him though
Last edited by Theboys&me; 10-05-2016 at 08:16.
10-05-2016 08:23 #35
What a thoughtful young man! You must be so proud of him
I would probably buy a board game with it and have a family games night. We didn't have much money when I was growing up so most of my family memories are from doing fun things at home like game nights, building forts, 'camping' in the lounge with a campfire made out of Lego. Tell him his generous gift means you get to have lots of fun nights together playing the game.
As for him knowing about your financial struggles, I agree that sometimes it's almost impossible to completely shield kids from these things. An 8yo is old enough to pick up on things, kids are perceptive. I don't think it's a bad thing to discuss it with kids in simple terms in a matter-of-fact way. It might help alleviate any worries or correct some conclusions he's come to on his own. It would be awful if a child was secretly stressing out that they were going to get kicked out of their house or have no food to eat. I think parents can explain that sometimes it's hard to pay for everything we need, but also emphasize that it's mum & dad's job to worry about that and they've got it covered. You don't have to completely hide the issue in order to avoid burdening them with adult issues.
10-05-2016 11:22 #36
Problem with 'rejecting' a childs generosity is you steel from him the joy of giving. While in the big scheme it is not a lot to him it is everything.
Personally I would not have explained how little it is. There is always. Hance for you to give it back. Have him do a chore so he feels like he is earning it and that he is not getting back what he gave you of course you could give him a little more. It may be a few chores.
I would be so proud and happy if my kids did simialr.
I have only read the op and not everything else.
10-05-2016 11:55 #37
Due to circumstances beyond both my control and beyond anything I am willing to share on BH, I experienced a huge decrease in income in the past 6 months or so. We went from just scraping by (bills and food covered plus a small amount left over to pay for birthdays, christmas, and very modest extras eg a movie) to not enough money to cover bills, schooling, food. We can no longer afford anything, and I mean anything else.
My kids are older. They noticed. They needed an explanation.
Oh and @CMF I think your DS sounds like a very kind, sensitive soul.
I agree with the others, accept the money and put it towards a treat the whole family can enjoy.
10-05-2016 21:05 #38Senior Member
- Join Date
- Feb 2006
Oh and great idea, to say "thanks" for him offering money, I never thought of that.
Sorry for sarcasm, but geez, some of the Dr Phil advice you give...
10-05-2016 21:16 #39
10-05-2016 21:20 #40
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