Maybe you are like me and, when you were 10, you routinely read your parents’ copy of Reader’s Digest. My favorite page was “Quotable Quotes.” Perhaps this is where I got my inspiration to start a chapbook of quotes and words of wisdom to help guide me to best overcome the adversity of life with grace and determination.
Today’s quote comes from Peggy O’Mara of Mothering Magazine, one of my go-to parenting resources, especially when my children were very young. It applies to thousands of decision-making situations on the journey of parenting, including talking about money, finance, and budgeting:
When my husband and I were lucky enough to choose to live on one salary after baby #3 was a year old, I read whatever I could on budgeting. One article about how to talk to kids about money caught my eye. “Dad, are we rich?” was the lead headline. The #1 piece of advice I took away from this article was to never, ever say, “We can’t afford it.” Instead, the article suggests, say something like, “We choose to spend on money on _____________.” or “We are choosing to save our money for ____________.” The rationale is that you want to avoid worrying your child about whether you can care for him or her. In this generation of immediate-gratification, showing your children how to be choosy about any purchase is a great lesson.
Though they may not seem like it at times, children listen to every word we say. No one is perfect, but as parents, we need to be extra careful of what we say and how we say it. When I feel balanced, it’s easier to say the right thing.
When I am stressed and feeling the pull of comparison (a joy-sucking, detrimental exercise), it’s a lot harder. BUT (!) just because it’s hard is no excuse to fall down and say out loud, “I wish we could afford that” – whatever that is at the time, be it the latest iThing or plaything. I don’t ever want to hear my kids tell their friends, “We can’t have it, because we can’t afford it.” Like I said, it’s easier to deal with when I feel balanced. So, when I am less so, I summon up all strength, to remember the truth, and remind my kids and myself how lucky we are to have a house we can call our own with a spacious backyard in a great town, and most importantly, a loving family and community of friends. After all, I wouldn’t trade all of that for any THING in the world. Wouldn’t we all love to hear our kids say that?
Striving to stay balanced-
- Quotable Quotes for Sustainable Serenity (twofrugalfairfielders.com)
- Personal Finance for Kids (twofrugalfairfielders.com)
- Appreciating the Vacationland that Fairfield, Connecticut has to Offer (twofrugalfairfielders.com)
- About Aimee: Sustainable Prosperity (twofrugalfairfielders.com)
- Redefining Success: The Value of Please and Thank You, Setting Limits and Non-negotiables (twofrugalfairfielders.com)