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Rights and Obligations

Today’s children have money. They get ang pow money, birthday money, or save their pocket money. DS1’s money box is very heavy.

The problem is not the possession of money, but the management of money.

Having money is not the same as knowing how to manage money. If my child decides to starve in order to buy phone card, to me, he doesn’t know how to prioritise the use of his money, and that calls for a serious talk on money and priorities.

If he decides to starve because he wants to buy an expensive item for a hobby I approve, to me that is real passion and I will contribute to the purchase of the item and help him pack food to school to save money.

There will definitely be personal bias in the management of money and that is for every family to negotiate, and every individual to discover for himself.

A child must have rights. He has the right to safety and shelter and consideration, and while you may think this is goes without saying, that is not true. There are children who do not feel safe in their own homes, or who think that they must automatically bow down to adults. I do not encourage that, because not all adults are good or right. I want my children to know from a very young age that they have rights and they can stand up for them.

However within the family, every family member has an obligation to one another. The parent has the obligation to explain the rules, priorities and limitations of the family, be it time or money. The child has the obligation to respect these factors and to negotiate respectfully if he thinks otherwise.

As our children get older, things need to be renegotiated periodically.

As for their tons of phone messages – I do think it’s a lot, I know it’s common, and I do know of parents who have confiscated phones from their teenage children over this issue. And to be honest, they are making things easier for the other half of the parents who feel unsure about confiscating and secretly heaving a sigh of relief that the other parent has solved the problem for them. But the main concern other than $$, is really uneasiness over not knowing what their kids are up to and concerns over time management. If you can address these, I’m sure it will work out fine.



Money management is important

Thanks for sharing.  Totally agree that money management is important.  I know of primary school kids who bring more than enough money to school, that they use the excess to buy treats (food or stationary) for their friends rather than saving them. 

I believe that kids at such an age should be taught to appreciate the value of money.  They can save up to buy what they want, but not spend freely on anything everything.  Money management starts from young.

thks for sharing

thks for sharing

ย Very nicely written. I do

 Very nicely written. I do worry about how my kids will view the use of and ‘entitlement’ to money in the future. I suppose one does not want to deliberately deny possessions to th young ones on teh basis of making them less materialistic, but by the same token, when they have lived comfortably all their lives, one wonders how they will deal with adverse financial situations.

Freedom Within Limits

Having worked with underprivileged children from dysfunctional families, i can attest to the part that you’ve mentioned that "not all adults are good or right…" Some children may not have a responsible role model within the family. Ditto the possession & management of money part, deminc. We raise our children in similar ways as per your article.  ๐Ÿ˜€

Like this quote from Maria Montessori…freedom within limits.

Nice sharing as usual. Love to read your words of wisdom. They pack nice punches! ๐Ÿ˜‰

This is beautifully written.

This is beautifully written.

Be a master of money, not slave

I agree that children need to be taught how to manage money and to live within our means at a young age. Otherwise, it will become like the recent case of the Beijing teenager who chose to sell one of his kidneys just to buy an iPad! That is so ridiculously sad but it’s true.

We have to teach our children that we are the master of money, not the slave.


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