So much comes to mind with what plagues many like me of Haitian descent and who are first generation Haitian Americans. When your parents come from poverty, sometimes poor money management skills ensue into the next generation. They may not know how to didactically teach what life force on them, to save like it was your last. In my case both parents are very good with saving. Now me on the other hand, I am a current work in progress. Much of my downfalls financially are based off bad principles both of my parents aided get out of control and still somewhat do. The idea that they will always be there to give or borrow from is a crippling crutch in my opinion. It is a sad, perpetual cycle.
It is important to teach our youth from a young age to take saving seriously. Now as my sons father and I did with our now six year old son, we made him bond with money in certain ways. Connect in ways that taught him the importance of having it and using it. One way I started teaching him the importance of money was with having coins for the laundry. Getting him use to putting coins in the washer which was at the time a five quarter wash, a given since they are eager to help when babies. After a few trips to the laundry mat and letting him put coins in, I would play “Where is the Money?” and he would help me look for the coins.
This is when I would say, “What would mommy do if I did not have that quarter in my bag?” At the time I started this he was two and had the hand-eye coordination to put the coins in. Then the months leading to him turning three I started the questions. Now, as any child they shrug shoulders saying,” I don’t know.” The asking of this question gets them realizing the urgency to find and have money. Rewind a year when he was one and able to grasp objects, we, well really I since I was the quirky one in the relationship who would have him put coins with our help in a plastic Dollar Store piggy bank. Those thin see through blue ones and let it fill up. Anytime someone gave him money, we would put it in his hand and take him straight to the piggy bank in his room. This was done religiously and each time his dad would protest thinking it was stupid, I would sarcastically say, “Do you want him to be like me?” That got him to conform to the quirky gestures quick, lol.
The point of this mini trip for me back in time is the financial responsibility exercises I had my sons father and our son do is two-fold:
First, it facilitated bonding between us as we both, his father and I, taught our son to be responsible with money.
Secondly, when mommy was short on the coins for laundry, you bet I was turning the piggy bank upside down manipulating a quarter or two to come out.
Trust I always replaced coins taken. Yet guess who still has a piggy bank five years later? Yep, my son who loves to say he has money. It also makes me feel good he will not follow in my broke mentality ways because his father and I made a conscience decision to teach him different. Just make sure what you say is what you are practicing with your kids.
Bye, and off to the races for me. Aaaaaaaaand I am off.