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Teaching children to be charitable

Published: 
Friday, August 18, 2017
CHILDREN AND MONEY MANAGEMENT SKILLS

In part three we discussed saving and spending. Today we will continue to operationalise the plan by discussing ‘giving’ and tying it all together.

As Tobagonians, we are well known worldwide for our amazing hospitality. Visitors to our beautiful island are usually amazed at our “lifestyle of giving.”

We share whatever we have with family, friends, neighbors and strangers. It is evidenced by the many Harvest Festivals held annually throughout the villages which allow all and sundry to visit our homes and partake in our home cooked culinary delights freely.

This lifestyle of giving can include more than food. continues we must teach it to our children in tangible ways. Giving allows your child to develop compassion for the needs of others.

It increases social awareness through community involvement. Finding appropriate ways for children to help out beyond the boundaries of their homes requires some measure of creative thinking and thoughtful guidance.

It begins by encouraging children to allocate a part of their allowance to give.

They can use their “give” money to accompany you to purchase food and toiletry items for persons in need, a phone card for a senior citizen who may not have any family or a birthday gift for a child whose parents may be going through financial difficulty.

As you continue to set the example, children will begin to make decisions about using their “give” money to help others. Talk about the value of being a cheerful giver as part of ongoing discussions in your home.

Giving, like saving and spending must be done consistently and timely. Time management is essential to keeping the spending/expense log.

Again, set the appropriate example for your child by letting him/her see you attending to your budgetary matters at a set time- teach by example.

Children are different expect children to operationalize your money management training in line with their personality.

For example, my kids, son and daughter- did things differently. During their primary school years, our son opted for a cash allowance while our daughter opted for a bank account with accompanying bank card.

They both budgeted and managed their allowances under our watchful guidance.

It is up to you to guide and support them remembering they will make mistakes from which they can learn.

It is an opportunity for meaningful discussion leading to wiser decision making for future spending.

• Dr N. Carrington is a successful