Monday, 20 February 2012

Kids, Money, & Toads

I think the thing that will cause me more stress and worry than just about anything, is whether or not I'm raising good kids.  Or rather, whether I'm raising good adults.  I'm sure most parents out there can relate to that worry.

I constantly question if I'm doing the right thing by my boys.  Am I tough enough on them?  Am I too tough on them?  Am I doing enough for them?  Am I doing TOO much for them?

So many questions.

Fortunately, I'm blessed to have really good boys. I mean we still have our challenging days, but when I compare my home to some of the problems that I know other parents are facing I know we're doing alright. 

I want to raise boys that respect themselves, respect others, respect women, and who are capable, functioning adults who don't need a girlfriend to take care of them.  My oldest cleans, is learning to cook, can do his own laundry, and has regular chores to contribute to the house.  So far so good.  When he whines about it, I just tell him that chicks dig guys who cook & clean.  That seems to be enough for now.

I also want to raise my boys to be financially responsible.  I was taught little to nothing about how to manage my money as a kid.  I had a piggy bank and savings account, but I was never taught actual lessons about it.  Money was something my step-dad refused to discuss with, or around me.  He felt it was none of my business to know how our household ran, how much things cost, or why it was important to save.  He just though grounding me for asking my mom to buy me new shoes was a lesson in itself.  He was (and still is) a real asshole.  

That's why I prefer to think back and draw on the first 11 years of my life (before Mom married the Toad) when it was just the 2 of us, for my financial example.  She worked 2, sometimes 3 jobs, to support us.  We never lived in fancy places, but she did things on her own to make places homey.  She baked her own bread, sewed my clothes, and learned how to do most things herself so she didn't have to pay anyone unless absolutely necessary.  The woman was MacGuyver.  She could change a tire, the oil in the car, fix a leaky roof, wire a lightswitch, and bake a kick ass German Chocolate Cake ... in an afternoon.  Seriously, I kid you not.

But back to my kids, I found a really great article from Psychology Today that talks about raising kids that are fiscally responsible, instead of spoiled assholes.  You can read it for yourself here and tell me what you think.

What kinds of things are you doing to teach your kids about financial responsibility?  I'm enjoying learning right along with my boy.  He gets an allowance, and has to save some, etc. etc.  I picked up some great tips from Gail Vaz-Oxlade's blog about Money Smart Kids.  We're tweaking things as we go, finding what works.  He's definitely learning that money does not grow on trees.  "But mom ... wouldn't that be so so cool if it did?!"

Yes dear ... I'm still hoping I find a money tree one day.  But for now I'll continue to budget a teeny bit for lottery tickets.  *wink wink*

Have a great Monday!

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