Teaching Them How to Spend

Dear Dave,

We follow your plan and give our kids commissions for working around the house. We also try to teach them about spending, saving and giving. Still, it bugs us when they blow their money on junk, or on things we don't approve of, and immediately start worrying about the next thing they can buy. Should this bother us, and what can we do?

Mike

Dear Mike,

Of course it should bother you. It bothers me just to hear about it!

It sounds like you're on the right track when it comes to handling money, but your kids are badly in need of adult leadership. There are some things that are just a bad idea because they're getting ripped off with low-quality stuff. But give them enough rope to hang themselves once in a while, too. That way, when they buy something cheap that breaks in a few days, you can say, "I told you so." Only don't use those exact words, although you'll be tempted. Just remind them of the principle involved.

Don't be afraid to draw the line and let them know that there are things you don't want in your house. If there are video games or music that you feel are inappropriate, then they don't get to buy that stuff - period! If they put trash, filth, and nastiness into their minds and spirits, they're going to become trashy, filthy and nasty. It's not anarchy; it's responsible parenting! You guys are the leaders of a benevolent dictatorship, and the kids should learn to appreciate that fact and be grateful when you're benevolent.

- Dave

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