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Your Child & Money (IV)
( Child as Giver )
Dec 1998 Alan S.L. Wong
Revised July 2008

Your Child & Money (IV)

We will look at this topic from different angles - parent as investor, child as saver, child as consumer and child as giver.

Child as Giver

  1. Giving Gifts

    An important lesson to teach our children is that money need not be used for themselves alone. It can be given to others. The whole process of giving gifts ... from planning to buying, wrapping, hiding and giving ... is very exciting! Help the child learn to give appropriate gifts by asking, "What do you think So-and-So likes or needs?"

  2. Spending on Credit

    My wife has allowed our children to borrow against future allowances for gifts to family members. Is this spending on credit? Is spending on credit wrong? If so, why? If not, why not?

    The Bible does not seem to be against borrowing (c.f., Matt. 5: 42) but states plainly that the borrower is a servant to the lender (Prov. 22: 7).

    The borrower may be forced to mortgage his property and in the event that he is unable to pay, the property may be taken from him and he may be reduced to poverty (c.f., Neh. 5: 4-5). But would you as a parent (the lender) subject your child (the borrower) to such an ordeal? Nevertheless, are we encouraging our children to spend beyond their means?

  3. Offerings

    I noticed that many parents give their children money for offering during their Church Sunday School. Money is transferred from the parents' wallet to the child's hands and then into the offering bag. But I felt that children would not learn the meaning of offering in this way. One may argue that practice comes before meaning ... that is, children should be first trained in right habits; explanation of principles can come later. This method of training is fine for preschoolers. But once children have an allowance and are able to understand the principle of giving - sharing of God's blessing with others then the practice of giving money to children for offering should stop.

    I believe that my children should learn to give out of their allowances. So I decided to increase their daily allowance by 10 cents and told them that they are responsible for setting aside money for offerings on Sunday. I am not sure whether my strategy succeeded or failed when my boys decided to take 10 cents less each day and then "withdraw" 50 cents on Sunday for offering.