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Should I Give my Child an Allowance?

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Piggy Bank Savings

          An allowance is an amount of money given on a regular basis for the purpose of helping the person cover business or living expenses, according to Dictionary.com. Of course, we do not envision our children flying out on a business trip or even paying for their own housing any time soon.  However, the idea of giving our child an allowance is one that we often ponder as our child begins to get older.  We wonder if giving our child money is the right thing to do. At what age should allowances begin?  How much should we give and how often? Finally, how will an allowance benefit the child?

          Many financial gurus like Paul Lermitte, believe that parents need to teach their kids about money.  Since money is something that everyone eventually must use and manage, it is important for parents to introduce healthy habits and attitudes about money. In his book, Allowances: Dollars and Sense, Mr. Lermitte discusses six dangers associated with not teaching your children about money. These include financial dependency, destructive values, debt, loss of confidence, teaching the wrong thing, and family conflict. Lermitte outlines several universal principles that parents need to understand in order to teach their children financial responsibility.

          The age of the child and the interest will determine when a parent should begin lessons on money. If the child understands the concept of money and that it is used for the exchange of goods, then the child is ready for an allowance.  This could mean, depending on your child’s ability, at age four or five the child is ready for small doses of money management. Generally, most kids are seriously ready around the age of eight. By this time, they have learned basic money denominations in school; they can count change and dollars on their own. The child may even have friends who are already receiving allowances and may ask about it.

Gimme, Gimme, Gimme! Children need to learn money sense.

          Figuring out how much of an allowance to give your child can be a daunting task. Some people say that you should allot one dollar per age of the child. Others say you should give what the child’s friends are getting. However, realistically, it would be wiser to review what you already spend on them.  Of course, we are talking about extras like toys, entertainment, etc. and not living expenses like housing, utilities, and the like. Make a list with your child of all the expenses you expect your child to pay with his or her allowance. David McCurrach states in his article, “Give ‘em an Allowance!”, that you should, “Keep in mind the fact that kids have three uses for their money-spending, saving and sharing. Consider all three areas when you are coming up with the amount. In addition to setting the allowance, this process puts an end to the constant  requests to buy this and that and to give them money to do whatever their hearts desire.”     

          Tying allowance in with daily chores can be beneficial as long as it is distinguished between chores that a child must complete to be a part of a household, and chores that receive pay.  For instance, making his or her bed, brushing teeth, and picking up toys after playing are responsibilities that the child must do to be a productive member in the family. It is the extra chores that can be incorporated into the allowance system. Jobs like pulling weeds, washing the windows, and babysitting younger siblings, to name a few, that a parent may wish to put a dollar figure upon.  Remember, that in the adult world, people are paid to do a job outside of their responsibilities at home. This same rule should loosely apply to your child.

          The benefits of introducing an allowance to your child outweigh any fears a parent may experience in teaching the values of money. The child is given the opportunity to try and fail with money decisions in a safe environment with a financial planner nearby-You! Since elementary schools do not teach financial management, it is up to the parent to make sure a child learns good habits and skills. An allowance system is a perfect way to achieve this goal.

Below, are a few interesting places to further investigate the idea of giving an allowance to your child.

Allowances, Dollars and Sense, by Paul Lermitte – Web site and book.

Give ‘em an Allowance!”, by David McCurrach- Article

“Age- Appropriate Chores”, from Family Education-Article and hand chore chart you can print.

Allowance Calculator”, from Pediatrics.about.com–  Useful tool to decide an allowance amount.

Money Doesn’t Grow On Trees: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Financially Responsible Children by Neale S. Godfrey – Book

Money Sense for Kids, by Hollis Page Harman- Book

Bibliography

“Age Appropriate Chores”. (200-2012). Retrieved from Family Education: http://life.familyeducation.com/allowance/jobs-and-chores/34438.html

“Allowance Calculator”. (2012). Retrieved from Pediatrics.about.com: http://pediatrics.about.com/od/toolsandcalculators/l/bl_allcalc.htm

Crites, P. A. (2012). Should you give your child an allowance? Retrieved from University of Nevada: http://www.unce.unr.edu/publications/files/cy/2000/fs0045.pdf

Lermitte, P. (2012). Book One: Allowance, Dollars and Sense. Retrieved from Paul W. Lermitte, Family Business specialist: http://www.paullermitte.com/books/book-one-allowances-dollars-and-sense

McCurrach, D. (2012, 1 28). “Give ’em an Allowance”. Retrieved from Kids’ Money for Parents: http://financialplan.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://www.kidsmoney.org/allart.htm%23Fea1

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 
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25 Activities to Keep the Summertime Blues Away

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It is summer vacation, and the kids are home from school. Once the initial excitement wears off, what will you do to keep those Summertime Blues away?  Here are some ideas to keep the kids active and have some fun while you are doing it.

1. Plan a visit to your local museum.  It is air-conditioned and interesting.  Call ahead or check the museum’s website to see if there is a discounted day or “free” day to visit. This will help to keep costs low.

 2. Pack up a cooler with some sandwiches and drinks; grab an old sheet, blanket or beach towel; and head for your nearest park for a picnic.  The kids love eating outdoors, and they can also play at the park.

 3. Visit a local Zoo.  Many Zoos allow coolers and have outdoor picnic areas, so bring your own lunch and enjoy the animals.

 4. Take a walk in a nature center or a forest preserve near your house. 

 5. Plan a treasure hunt or scavenger hunt complete with a map and prizes.

 6. Have an old-fashioned water-balloon fight.

 7. Collect some rocks on your nature hike, picnic, or walk around town.  The rocks should be no larger than your palm.  Clean them up and spend an afternoon painting them.  Homemade “Pet Rocks”!

 8. Rainy Days are no problem.  Plan to have a “Rainy Day” Movie Festival.  Set up the Family Room or Living Room with chairs, make some popcorn, and watch your favorite movie together. The Library is a great resource for DVD’s and Video Cassettes.

 9. Backyard Camping can be a blast.  Set-up the tent in the back yard, and if you have a portable fire pit, cook up some Smores and tell stories around the campfire. 

 10. Service projects can be fun and can help teach kids to think beyond themselves.  Try picking up garbage on your street.  Plant some marigolds or other annuals in small clay pots and give them to the neighbors.

 11.  Have a game day.  It can be outdoor games like “hide and go seek” or indoor board games.

 12. Make hand puppets and put on a show.

 13.  Play in the sprinkler, go swimming or to the beach.

 14.   Set-up a time to visit with the local Fire Department or Police Department for a tour of the facilities.

 15.   Visit a Botanical Garden.  Check and see if there is an ongoing exhibit.

 16.  Spend the day at the local Library. They often have summer programs for children.

 17.  Make chocolate chip cookies together.

 18.  Take the kids fishing.

 19.  Have the kids help you wash the car. Get buckets, sponges, towels and clean away while having fun.

 20.  Go for a bike ride.

 21.   Volunteer to help at an animal shelter for the day.

 22.  Teach the kids how to play Croquet, badminton, or tennis.

 23.  Create a time capsule. Use a container with a lid. Place items in the container that represent summer. Maybe add a few pictures or post cards from your adventures. Close it all up and put it away to open next year.

 24.  Tie-dye items like T-shirts. Allow children to choose their own colors.

 25.  Use some sidewalk chalk and create a hopscotch board.  Have everyone play.

Useful Links:

Chicago Museums Free Days- www.chicagokids.com/free.html

Places for Kids New York- http://www.ny.com/kids/

How to play hopscotch- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hopscotch

How to make a time capsule-YouTube Video–http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5eL81RXxXE

USA Zoo List by state- http://www.officialusa.com/stateguides/zoos/

Volunteering Ideas for kids- http://parenting.kaboose.com/raising-children-who-care.html

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 

 

Lying Eyes

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Pinocchio was a wooden boy who made his father’s job easy.  Whenever Pinocchio lied, his nose grew longer.  If only parents and teachers had the benefit of a growing nose to warn them that a lie was coming. There are strategies that can help parents and teachers avoid the potential lies from their children and get to the truth.

1.  Avoid asking questions.  If you suspect a child of lying, do not ask questions like why? or did you?  State the act you suspect them of doing directly.

Example:  “Adam, I do not want you to swear like that, again. I am disappointed in your choice of words.  There will be no more TV for you this evening”

By making the statement, the child has less time to make up a lie. The statement catches the child off guard, and generally, he or she will admit to the act.  If the child truly did not swear, the reaction and body language will let you know that the child is innocent of the crime.

2.  Pay close attention to eye contact.  Liars will avoid direct eye contact.  One way to tell if the child is lying is to observe whether the child looks at you when you confront him or her with the offense.  If the child is young, this strategy is telling, however older children may be accomplished at lying and look you directly in the eye.  Nevertheless, there are still little telltale signs such as erratic blinking or moving the eyes from side to side to identify a lie.

3. Watch for body language.  Blushing or red flushed skin can be a sign that the child is not giving the whole truth.  Some children will touch their nose or face when they are lying, while others will fidget and wring their hands.  Lying makes people nervous and this nervousness is a good sign that something is not right.

4. Is the child being overly defensive?  Often, when a liar is confronted their first reaction is to be defensive.  The child may blame another for the infraction or try to make the adult feel guilty for asking.  This should make the adult stop and ponder what the child is trying to hide.

5. Catch the child in the act.  The best way to catch a liar is to observe them doing the act. This may take a bit of patience and time on the part of the adult, but it is a good way to stop an habitual liar when other methods are not working.

The ultimate goal of parents and teachers should be to teach the child that lying is not the answer.  If the child learns to admit when he or she has made a mistake and how to accept the consequences, the instances of lying can be eliminated as well as the unacceptable behavior.  

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

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The Glass CastleThe Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jeannette Walls writes her deeply disconcerting memoir, The Glass Castle that recounts her life growing up with dysfunctional parents. Jeannette’s father was an amazingly intelligent man who could teach his four kids physics, geology, and fearlessness when he was not drunk. Jeannette’s mother was an artist who would rather get lost in her art than feed and raise her children. Mother and father were a perfect storm of two people who should never have had children. The memoir takes the reader on a tour of great ups and horrific downs for this wandering family.
From the very beginning, I was completely enthralled with this book. The story is expertly woven and easy to read. At times, the book touched a nerve, and it would make me so angry with Jeanette’s parents that I would just have to scream. This was a great book for my book club where we discussed the story with emotion and dismay. I would highly recommend this book.

View all my reviews

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 
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