As a parent, I always feel the responsibility of teaching my children how to save and spend their money wisely. What surprises me is how much I’ve actually learned from them. Here are three money-related lessons I’ve learned from my children:
1. Wasting is wasting, no matter who pays for it
When we were still living in a rental townhouse, one morning I was brushing my teeth without immediately turning off the tap. Allison, five years old at that time, hopped by and obviously heard water running. “Hey, Mom, you left the water running!” She ran to turn it off. I laughed and, without much thought, said, “Allison, do you know we don’t need to pay for water? Our rent covers it.” She looked at me for a few seconds and replied, “I don’t care who pays for it. You wasted water!”
True! She was right. It was a shame to waste resources, even if we were not paying for them out of our pocket. It was a good lesson learned.
2. Good deeds do not always need to be paid with money
In recent years, Andrew and Allison have participated in various volunteer activities even though they do not have the requirement for service-learning hours yet. Their favorite volunteer work is to volunteer for races, such as checking in & checking out bags and clothes, distributing water and food, playing musical instruments to cheer for runners.
When I offered to reward them with several dollars for the hard work, they always refused because when they wanted to volunteer, they meant it—no need to pay for the work. They did get free t-shirts and snacks from those events, which delighted them.
3. Our smile is the cheapest but best makeup
Like most women, I love wearing makeup to make sure I look good and feel confident. However, that does not seem to matter much to my kids. One thing they care much more is mom’s smile. From time and time, my kids remind me that I look too serious and I need to smile more. Here is an exercise that I am practicing now—to give more smile to people around me. It is free to me, and it makes me look the best, according to my kids.
Sometimes, I feel that kids are the best teachers. They help me to think differently. Have you ever learned any lessons from kids?