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Teaching the Value of Something

In today's world, things don't operate anywhere near the same as in the past. Society has changed, and so have general rules, and with that acceptances.

If I could make one generalization, I would say that kids of today have it much easier, on average, than kids of past generations. I can even look at myself, and hearing about what my parents had to do, I didn't have to do nearly as much. Yes, I did have chores that needed to be done, but no I didn't have an allowance. I was asked to do something, and was expected to do those tasks.

From talking with my students, many of them do not have these same responsibilities, yet many still do get an allowance. I knew of children my age that did get an allowance when I was growing up. It was usually like $5 a week. I hear of students I have now getting $20-$50 a week! And they don't have to do anything. Yes, money doesn't grow on trees.

I'm not saying that if you're doing this you should stop, but what are they learning from this is more where I'm headed. What are they learning by getting $20-$50 a week for doing nothing? They are learning that money is given to them for nothing, and they lose the value of earning it. They lose the message behind value.

Value- n relative worth, utility, or importance : degree of excellence

There is an importance in learning what VALUE means. It is important to learn how to value something. If everything is given to you, and you don't have to earn anything, you are not going to appreciate things the same as if YOU earn it.

Example - This past year I had a great example shown to me, that just shocked me. I student came to school with a brand new pair of jeans. All they did to show me that they didn't value them was write on them with a black pen by the knee. What could we conclude by witnessing that?

If an item is sentimental to you, you place a different value on it than someone else would. There are items on this earth that have great sentimental value to people. Pictures, antiques, letters, etc... What something is worth to one person may vary greatly to another person.

How can we teach the value of something to children, or even people? Some don't seem to have a concept for how much something is worth.

1) First talk with them about the fact that some things may be important to one person and not to another. Some people value different things. Use the word value with them, and give examples.

2) Explain with them how money works. Talk about how it is earned, where it comes from, the basic principles of it.

3) Build your child's money skills. Play games that involve money, such as Monopoly, Payday. Also teach them equivalents. Yes, money is taught in school, but money skills aren't.

4) If they make a poor decision regarding value, talk with them about it. Find out why they did what they did. See things from their perspective before you react.

5) Give them a small allowance. It should give them the chance to buy smaller items. Young kids shouldn't be walking around with $100, but I've seen it.

On one final thought... should you pay your child for A's? or B's? Should children earn money for getting good grades? I never did. My thoughts... if it works, use it. If it doesn't, don't. Still, I have seen students in the hall with over $50 in their wallet/purse/pocket, showing it off to other students. Why do they need that much money on them, and why isn't it in a bank?


At 1:34 AM, Blogger Mama Mouse said...

I agree with you totally. My kids didn't have allowances but they got money if they needed it and if they had EARNED it. Nothing came free for the wanting of it. They learned how to appreciate things. To understand that things didn't grow on trees. And to CARE that their father had to work to pay for everything they took for granted.

A very needed article and well done.

At 7:27 AM, Anonymous Michael Paetzold aka The Old Bald Guy said...

Yes I agree with your lesson. Money skills are poorly taught and teaching youngsters the value is something severely lacking in most places.

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At 10:30 AM, Blogger loong said...

yea, all shud come from our hard work

At 12:47 PM, Blogger mommy on the verge said...

Bravo, I totally agree with placing value and teaching about a good work ethic. I have always thought that you should not give money to kids for getting an A or a B. A nice family outing where that student gets to pick where he or she wants to go after a good quarter, that should suffice.

At 9:52 PM, Blogger Rangga said...

good point there, my teachers didn't teach me anything about money, my parents not better. Lucky I learn from self-help books about money to know how to spend appropriately

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At 11:45 PM, Blogger misa ramirez said...

All good advice!

I firmly believe that parenting means teaching, and it's a 24/7 job.

At 4:14 PM, Anonymous old fart from UKl said...

Nice article, reminds me of when I was 14, that was 56yrs ago I had a job after school delivering groceries. two thirds of my earnings went into the housekeeping, I got the rest which wasn't much. Still had to go to school with holes ion my shoes. Ah! the good old days:-)

At 12:02 PM, Blogger Mitchell said...

I'm glad to see someone else noticed how things really are today and I'm guilty of making life to easy on my kids . Things are going to have to change quick or these kids are going to get the wrong impression of life as a free ride . Thanks for setting the status quo .

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At 1:17 AM, Anonymous nisha said...

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At 1:58 AM, Anonymous murray said...

nice article..sadly my child pass away last year :(

At 10:01 AM, Blogger Thomas said...

I know this post is old, but I'll comment anyways on my experiences.

Growing up, my parents bought me pokemon cards for every spelling test I aced back in the fourth grade. I ended up with a LOT of pokemon cards (all worthless today). Regardless, my english skills improved, as well as my diction and comprehension of the school material. I started to excel in school and consequently I enjoyed it.

Right now, I am studying for my bachelors degree in international business in one of Canada's top universities, at the moment I'm on exchange in Sydney, Australia and I am currently working towards preparing myself for a job in international banking.

Speaking from past experience, I believe rewarding your children for good grades can lead to more positive outcomes. Or maybe I'm just a special case.

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At 1:32 PM, Anonymous Bipolar Music said...

You don't teach by talking about what's right or wrong, you teach by action, by doing what's right or wrong.

At 12:48 AM, Blogger smplcv said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 6:48 AM, Blogger sample said...

Excellent post! keep up the good work going..

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At 7:14 PM, Blogger Ashleigh said...

I really enjoyed this post and totally agree with you! I'll never cease to be amazed at how careless my students are with their things. It is so obvious when you have students who have had to work for what they get.

At 8:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, you also have some parents who work their children in the home and dont reward them with anything, such as an allowance.And pressure them to do well in school causing them to not to or to believe they have to work for free. And then they try to guilt trip by saying the child should pay them for the 9 months of labor.
A person who was never given anything and always had to work for nothing will appreciate whats given to them more than what they worked for because from their perspective, they are SUPPOSED to work and no one HAD to give them anything.

At 8:27 PM, Anonymous scfinder said...

all of the things that you've said is true, great post. Thank you for posting informative one

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