I for one love the build up to Christmas, more and more decorations seem to pop up each day, and children get increasingly excited thinking about what gifts they are going to receive. Ahead of Christmas, the wider family are often in touch to ask what present their loved ones would like this year in a bid to avoid the dreaded Christmas Day disappointment.
My father, I know, feels that giving money or a voucher to one of his granddaughters just isn’t as good as giving a real (tangible) present. But in my opinion, we have to understand that modern day children are entirely pragmatic and not so sentimental as their grandparents — They see the world differently.
To a child, the gift of money is just as tangible as an item, for example the latest Xbox game or book, and better still, it puts them in control of what they buy. Giving money also has the potential double benefit of helping them feel just as rewarded for saving up for the present they want as for spending it.
If you have successfully established the idea of saving, your child can easily see how the money they received can be put towards a goal they set. We have to remember that while children will often reflect their parent’s experiences and attitudes towards money; for many children, it’s an entirely new experience for them. They are open and want to engage with money, which is fundamentally exciting because they are willing and able to learn this vital skill.
As parents we can help to positively shape our children’s behaviour with money and make sure that as they grow, the way they use money grows with them. Giving children money as a gift is a helpful way to support this learning process.