Creativity and Money
I had a milestone birthday recently and I thought I’d take advantage of the situation to teach my kids about money and creativity at once. It appears that many kids these days have no idea what a $1 is worth or anything really. Money is something that is connected to a piece of plastic that you tap and in exchange get stuff. They know it ‘costs’ something but don’t seem to understand where the money came from and don’t really seem to care (until the well runs dry). First I should say, this is my tween and teen and the more we discuss it, the more I realise they don’t know about money!
When my boys were small they would tell me to just go to the machine in the wall and get more money. Ugh! They now have a vague idea that the money I’m getting is mine and had to be earned, but it’s still a pretty foreign concept. We introduced allowance based on jobs done around the house, but we all lost track and they didn’t push the point - so why give them money for nothing I reasoned! Perhaps it wasn’t the right time. Now we are working with the teen to get a real job knowing it’s our job to be as supportive and helpful as possible so he gets a taste for making his own money, then he should grow with motivation to work like a snowball down a hill. Anyhow that’s my reasoning and I'm waiting for it to kick in!
I wish at school they would teach kids basic concepts such as what a mortgage is. Why does a bank card only work when there’s money on it, but another works well past that? What are taxes and why should I care? Not all of this is exciting stuff, but it’s vital to exist and be independent in our world and isn’t this our job to prepare these little souls to be able to find out the answers they need to change the world one baby step at a time?
Back to my birthday. I gave the boys a week’s notice and told them for my birthday this year (and for the next few years), they weren’t to ‘buy’ me a present (they didn’t have any money anyway!). They had to use their imagination and personal resources (items found around our house) to make something especially for me. If they needed some guidance they could ask their dad to help them brainstorm, but it was up to them. Interestingly, they both did their projects independent of each other although the tween needed a bit more prodding last minute (Rome wasn’t built in a day!).
I’m happy to say that I didn’t need to even see the process of this play out ie whining and complaining it was all too hard and they didn’t know what to do, I only got to experience the result. The amazing creative projects that they produced with their own hands - which meant less time on a screen - warmed my heart to no end. I’ve suggested that they do the same for their dad so they keep this creative train of thought going for future reference. One of my boys’ artwork has prime position stuck to our fridge and I’m finding a wall for the other.
All this is working on the continued growth of my boys’ brains to help them be more independent, self-motivated and find their own creative passion to aid them in a path of happiness in their lives, whatever that means for them. Oh and give them some money smarts! Money (the concept in whatever form) is here to stay, so I'll keep the financial advice to my kids coming too - even if they don't listen to it!?
How do you get your kids to dive into their creative selves and do you think it’s as important as I do? How do you teach your kids about money? (Please share!)...