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How long do you plan to support your able bodied child(ren)?

Teaching the value of Money   Part ONE

In today’s society and our culture it seems to be acceptable, actually almost a standard now, that kids are simply given desires and wants without any obligation on their part = basically entitlement.
To preface my musing, I would like to make sure you know that I am not addressing needs. A need encompasses essentials and necessities, things that sustain life, nourish body and spirit.
For example a child has the right to:

  • food
  • shelter
  • clothing
  • lesson of and experience of work
  • education
  • in my opinion gospel training
  • teaching of proper values and morals
  • love and knowing they are a blessing to the family.

Now for entitlements. Does a parent(s) owe their child(ren):

  • anything they heart desires
  • the other kids have it
  • their life will be easier for having it
  • it’s the latest ___,
  • simply because they want it

Let’s weigh this out. If a child never truly has to work for, and realize the value of money, will the child truly be able to reach their full potential as a happy, productive, industrious human being that will be a benefit to you, your family and to society in general?
Much too often, money, objects and favors are merely handed over at the asking/whining/pleading child of any age.
The long term consequence for this behavior can be devastating and incredibly detrimental.
Because the child often never learns to sacrifice for themselves or others. This is critical. How can a person hold together a joyful marriage if they do not know how to sacrifice. Marriage is a series of comprises, negotiation, agreeing and doing what is best for the other partner and their marriage in the long run; and not giving in to whims or selfish desires of the moment.
Entitlement is a huge millstone around the neck of our society today. Too many children and adults have been pandered to for countless reasons.

  • Some parents often feel guilt for being divorced for example.
  • Some experience feelings of inadequacy as a parent, or they themselves do not possess the life skills to pass on to a work ethic to their progeny.
  • Oftentimes it is just plain easier to give a child what he wants and be done with it.

Giving in to the entitlement mindset causes one to surrender one’s freedom. There really is ‘no-free-lunch’ so to speak. There always has been and always will be a cost to all blessings and privileges. Consider how many have given their life’s blood so we can enjoy the liberties we do today; to express ourselves as we wish, to worship according to the dictates of our own conscience, to go to school and learn as much as we choose, the list goes on and on.

Giving in to an entitlement mentality indeed shackles one with invisible chains, which bind with the links of dependency.
Instead of being able to walk about and act as a free person, we are now captive to the holder of our chain – the one who provided, while proclaiming there would be no cost.
If a parent gives all to a child, without any expectation of payment or compensation, he or she is actually setting the child up to be a prisoner of his parent/s. And later, possibly a slave to the government or worse. This may be a harsh observation, but it is proven true time and again.

  1. How can a child who is never taught to work ever be expected to appreciate the value of money?
  2. Working to pay ones own way, has always been and will always be, the liberating key to solid moral character and ultimate independence.
  3. Parents who teach and expect kids to work at an early age can avoid the pitfalls of able bodied dependent adult children.
  4. When people understand how to stand on their own, it is truly a beautiful thing. Furthermore avoiding heartache and financial strain that accompanies long term child dependency.

The next few weeks teaching children the value of money will be the topic of Monday Musings, such as:

  • How to teach the value of a dollar
  • Why provide work opportunities
  • What can be expected of a child
  • What life skills are important in handling money, and much, much more.

Insisting our family members learn to provide for themselves, is not the comfortable way, but the right way.
Together we can learn, support and achieve genuine happiness in our family, as well as our posterity, now and those still to come.
Click HERE for Teaching the Value of Money, Part 2
Click HERE for Teaching the Value of Money, Part 3
Click HERE for Teaching the Value of Money, Part 4
Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.


  • I definitely could use a bit of help in this area and cannot wait to see what you share about teaching the value of money to kids in the upcoming weeks now!! 😉

  • Lauren says:

    Looking forward to this series! I always wonder if my 5 year old is learning the true value of money…

  • Carrie,
    I was just telling my son about working for want he wanted right before reading this posts. It is tuff lesson for all ages, but especially teens who need money for everything.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Blessings and I will share this lesson everyone needs,
    Diane Roark

  • Peggy says:

    A well written article. I do not have children and so I can say with certainty that my kids would have been perfect in every way!
    Over the years I have observed friends, neighbors and family with children who were raised to stand on their own. Their children are well adjusted adults with stable jobs and good relationships. They were raised to face what life throws at them.
    Those who were not taught the value of work or money but gave their children everything they wanted, those children never seem to be able to break from their parents. They always had money and cars and anything else they wanted. Nothing was/is ever the kids fault and they struggle with relationships and jobs. I call them the boom-a-rang generation because they move out of the house only to move back in every time they hit a bump in the road. Their parents take care of most things for them, robbing them of the chance to learn from good and bad decisions and the opportunity to grow and mature.
    One neighbor kid has moved back at least 4 times. He never had to mow the lawn or shovel snow or do anything growing up that I could see. He is in his thirty’s, he’s never been married and is currently living with his mother………..again!

  • Entitlement is so rampant in our society today. Let’s face it: you can do everything right and your child may still feel they are entitled. This entitlement has much to do with the societal influences outside the family. I applaud your dealing with this issue, We as parents need to do everything we can to counteract the outside influence are kids are constantly bombarded with. Great post Carrie! Thanks for sharing.

  • Christine says:

    Looking forward to seeing updates on FB…I’ll click through for sure. We just got our Christmas package from my mother the other day (slow Chinese mail) and now my son expects a toy for coming home from school…he’s only three, but I’d like him to know he doesn’t get toys and prizes simply for showing up (we gave him the big Christmas gifts he should have got on Dec. 25) . You’ve already given me ideas simply by talking about the subject…:)

  • Christen says:

    Sometimes I am afraid I go to far the other way with my kids. Their friends seem spoiled to me, like they get a toy every time they go to the store with their parents. I am talking two toys a week. My kids usually have to wait for birthdays or Christmas unless they have their own money! Rarely, do they get toys for any other reason. But when they get their hands on money they want to spend it right away. I try to strike a balance of letting them learn natural consequences while they are kids (see, if you spend it all now there is no money left when you want that “big” item) and forcing them to save….

  • Your descriptions of “wants”made me laugh! SO true! Pinned to my “parenting” board on Pinterest and awaiting part 2!

  • Jen says:

    I have to agree with everything you’re saying here. I look forward to reading your series because I never learned about the value of money growing up and that lack of knowledge had a detrimental effect on me as an adult. I want to teach my daughter to be smarter than I’ve been about her finances.

  • You are absolutely right!! My children have chores because they are a part of our family – a team that works together for the good of the whole. We are teaching our children that just because we have the money to buy or replace something doesn’t mean we do it. When they break things out of carelessness or neglect they have to come up with the money or do chores to earn it’s replacement. Learning responsibility starts when kids are preschoolers – not college students. {stepping off my soapbox now} 🙂 Thanks for sharing via Family Fun Friday.

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