You may have read the articles in a magazine or newspaper: middle school children have more money than ever. Most of this money is simply given to them by parents or other family members. And the more money middle schoolers get, the more they want.
It’s natural for parents to want to give nice things to their children. But give your child too many handouts, and she’ll come to feel you owe her something.
Here are some ways to show your child that money doesn’t just come tumbling out of a machine:
- Have your child earn at least some of her money. This doesn’t mean she has to go get a job. But nearly every child can baby-sit or do odd jobs for a neighbor once in awhile.
- Don’t worry about “keeping up with the Joneses.” Your child is not going to suffer if she doesn’t have designer shoes or live entertainment at her birthday party.
- Talk to your child about what she hears and sees in the media. A lot of middle schoolers’ wants are fueled by TV commercials. The message is that buying a product will bring you happiness. Challenge your child to explain to you whether this is really the case.
- Have an idea about what your child is buying. Before giving her money, have her tell you what she plans to do with it. Don’t be afraid to say no if you’re not comfortable with her plans.
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