22. Jul, 2016

Shopping & children

From an early age children are surrounded by shops and money. From watching children's television programmes, hearing adults talking, peer pressure and seeing it in stores, it is something a child learns about from their experiences.

The differences in our Motherhood role today compared with fifty years ago is the vast amount of credit available, the use of fast payment cards, electronic ordering and online payment systems.

Does this mean our children will miss the vital learning and importance of cash and money management?

15 Tips from toddler to older:

  • Real money in their play till is a great resource and a fun way to learn about coin value and number recognition.
  • Playing 'shop' at home can be as simple as buying their own cuddly toy from the shelves that is the staircase!
  • Taking children to the shop gives them a vast range of experiences and exposure to what money is spent on and how spending is managed, the importance of paying for goods and understanding of theft.
  • When shopping, children can see many things like; the numbers, currency, letters, words and labels.
  • Patience is a skill that is learnt. Showing and teaching children the patience required in a store, one with people/other customers around and two the unwritten rules to the queue system.
  • As children get older, shopping can be fun and engaging, from a printable food lotto game, searching for items, reading a shopping list.
  • Writing the list at home beforehand, being involved in what items are missing from the cupboard or fridge. Creating a list can show children great organisational skills, menu planning and limit those extra items that children constantly ask for around the shop.
  • Try and take cash to pay for goods, for children to see the spending of money earnt and, to learn coin value, maybe to count out the required amount. Surprisingly most cashiers support this and praise the child.
  • Handling money from a younger age could help the child when they reach an age they pay for snack and lunch in the junior years of primary school.
  • Having cash and particularly coins at home can help children to work out cost and change in a more relaxed and fun way through play, as well as completing the maths workbooks at school.
  • Talk openly about money. "Money Advice Service" says research has shown how we behave about money as adults is learnt from our own parents when we were a child.
  • Think about ways children can learn the value of money. This being different for each parent/household. It may be the child is given £1.00 and asked to see how far that spend can be spread or even to see how many items/goods cost less than that to choose from. It could be that a child is shown they simply don't have enough money in their hand to buy those items they wanted, so to make a decision then have their change for another visit with money.
  • For older children, instead of pocket money and parent spending money too, it could be worth looking at the cost for year, ie for clothes, toys, treats etc, spread that to the months and the child then has their personal spending to manage.
  • Once at an age the child can be responsible to walk to the nearest shop with a list and money, setting a budget to spend for those items can give them a sense of pride and achievement, as well as the ability to seek out deals and best prices.
  • Savings would've be paramount for mothers fifty years ago, having to save to buy much needed items, now there is a vast amount of credit available which is used instead. Teaching children the skills of saving would support their understanding of good money management.

The differences in our Motherhood role today compared with fifty years ago is the vast amount of credit available, the use of fast payment cards, electronic ordering and online payment systems.

Natalie