Making Decisions and Spending - A Newsletter for Parents of First Grade Children
What Do You Think?
Christie and her mom are shopping for groceries and Christie asks, "Could we please get some soup for lunch?" Mom says, "What a good idea." Mom picks out some soup. Then Christie says, "Look Mom, this kind is only 89 cents and the one you picked is more."
For many of us, spending is the fun part of having money. Sometimes we do a good job of making spending decisions and other times, we probably could do better.
Our children are no different. They will make both good and not so good choices about how they spend their money.
It's hard for young children to understand what you're talking about when you start sharing ideas about decision making. But what they will catch on to is how you make your choices. Remember, your child will learn the most by simply watching how you spend your money.
What is decision making all about? Well, for a first grader, it might be a simple choice between some of these items:
fruit flavored gum
Any time your child has a choice between one or more items, he or she is making a decision.
Learning About Needs and Wants
All of us have lots of needs and wants. Young children are apt to think they need everything and want it right now.
Do you know the difference between needs and wants? Here are a couple of simple definitions:
- want—something you wish for very much but could live without
- need—something you have to have to live every day
Usually children (and adults) will have more wants than needs. It will help your child to begin to understand the difference if you use these questions when he or she wants to spend some money.
- Do I really want it?
- But, do I really need it?
- Can I get along without it?
- How can I pay for it?
Reprinted with the permission of the Iowa State University Extension. © 2008 Iowa State University Extension.
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