An MSN video on the “Bubble” channel features a video “Cute 2 Year Old Only Wants Cash” You can watch it and come back to chat with me on this blog.
The video is interesting because the child is taken care of, he just seems to be a little bored. To cure his boredom he is offered a variety of pleasures – toys, cookies and candy – but he passes on all of them. Then he noticeably perks up when he is offered money.
Do your kids perk up around money?
That’s why I am committed to helping raise money smart kids. Money allows one to have options, and it provides freedom from worry. But we cannot maintain financial freedom without being financially responsible.
Back to the video for a moment… the child has declined all the things his two year old mind could possibly want …. and the video ends with the little boy perking up at the offer of money. We don’t know whether or not he gets the money. For some reason, I am assuming that he does get it, but I want to know what he does with the money.
This is a teachable money moment.
I would hope that the child is given money. At the age of two, the most fun denomination could be a coin. Or, if the child is a real tycoon in the making, he would want the bills! I would hold the money in my hand and ask, “What is this?”
We would then have a discussion about the name of the currency – a quarter, nickel, dime – or whatever the case may be… I would then ask, “What are you going to do with it?” I would offer, “Are you going to save that in your piggy bank? Or, knowing me.. “Is that going in your college fund [or other long term savings plan?]
Most often we save money to spend it on short term goals, which is great. The short term goals are a form of financial planning, at the most basic level. I would also want to think about longer term goals that require more money and a bit more self control. Especially for this child, who seems to have been offered everything he could possibly want. He just wants the money – great!
At the age of two, the child has energy and excitement about getting money. So let’s see if we can use these scenarios as teachable moments to (1) reward with money and (2) put it towards a future goal. This can help us to raise money savvy kids.
I am not criticizing the parent on any level, only appreciating how much we love our children and wnat the best for them. In this moment we can plant seeds of financial empowerment and paint a picture of what is possilble for our kids. As any parent knows, our greatest resources are human resources and we are a chid’s first and best financial coach.
Candi Sparks is the author of children’s books about money “Can I Have Some Money?”. Educating Children About Money, Max Gets It!, Nacho Money and other titles. She is the Dean of Young and Rising Moguls at World of Money and a Brooklyn mother of two, on Facebook and Twitter (Candi Sparks, author).