I Wish My Parents Had Done This With Me
By Motlagae Konyana
A lot of families share the frustration that the festive season – Christmas in particular, has become so commercialised that we’ve forgotten what this time really means. For a lot of people, it has become one of the most stressful times of the year. One of the main stress points is money: the cost of gifts, family meals and general increased spending over this time means that while the festive season is meant to be about love and family, it can often lose its meaning to these pressures
Here are some of tips on how to use the festive season to teach your children the value of money and maybe even shift their perspectives so that the holiday season becomes more about really what it means than about gifts.
- Have a family discussion about what the festive season really means to you and how you can celebrate this time within your budget. You may be surprised to find that for some family members just having time together is enough.
- If you were lucky enough to have received a bonus, discuss it with the family and ask your children how they feel the money should be allocated and spent. This is an opportunity to discuss the importance of using some money to reduce debt or save, some to spend and some to share with those that are less fortunate. Discuss the principles of saving as an opportunity to provide for the future – their studies and the importance of reducing debt so you’re not paying more money (interest to a bank).
- Ask your children what they feel is important with regards to spending: A holiday, an activity with the family or gifts? There’s no right or wrong answer as everyones opinion does matter and is important. The process is about helping your children understand that if you discuss things with them, you can make better choices guided by what your family really values.
- Discuss helping those in need and how best to do that: with time or money? What causes do your children love and what do they mean to them? You’ll be surprised by how overwhelmingly charitable children are.
Talking about this as a family will teach your children valuable lessons, and who knows you may be the one who ends up learning the most from your children as together, you reassess and realign your family values to what really matters the most.