Making Decisions and Spending - A Newsletter for Parents of First Grade Children (page 2)
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?
Understanding Needs and Wants
Here is a list of several items children might think they need or want. Read the words to your child and have the child draw a blue circle around the things he or she needs and a red circle around those he or she wants.
- candy bar
- tennis shoes
- video movie
- coloring book
Making a Decision
Here is a situation for you and your child to work through together. It will help the child understand the steps to making a decision.
You have $2.00.
What will you do with it?
Rent a movie
Buy a toy
Put in piggy bank
How long will it last?
How will you feel about it?
Consider ThisMom says, "Christie, you are right. I hadn't really paid any attention to the price. I just always buy the same kind. If we buy the cheaper one you can have the extra money for your bank. Let's try this one and see if we like it."
This newsletter is published for families with first grade children by Iowa State University Extension. For more information about parenting education, contact your local county extension office or access the Iowa State University Extension to Families website, www.extension.iastate.edu/families.
Prepared by Donna K. Donald, family life field specialist, and Vicki W. Sickels, former family support program associate, and edited by Laura Sternweis, communication specialist, Iowa State University Extension.
Reprinted with the permission of the Iowa State University Extension. © 2008 Iowa State University Extension.
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