It doesn’t take long for kids to understand the concept that money can get them things they want. If Grandpa gives them a couple of dollars, they will usually start begging to head to the dollar store to purchase some new “treasure”.
Unfortunately, kids aren’t born knowing how to be good stewards of the money God gives them. They are usually generous at a young age, but if parents don’t work with them – generosity can quickly turn to greed. If you don’t teach them how to handle money in godly ways, they won’t necessarily learn it by just watching you.
Handling money well is complex even in a secular environment. When you add God’s expectations for helping others and the church with our funds, it can become even more intricate. If you don’t teach your kids from a young age how to budget their money, they may struggle financially for many years. Check the average credit card debt in our country and you can see how bad the problem can get.
Continue reading Simple Way to Introduce Kids to Budgeting and Stewardship
Nothing can get people more animated than beginning a discussion about money. Or poverty. Or God’s views on the two. Yet scripture after scripture talks about how God wants His people to care for the poor. Whatever your personal interpretation, I believe kids benefit from understanding the realities of poverty. The scriptures also make it clear God expects us to be good stewards of the blessings He gives us. The money your kids will be given and earn during their lifetimes is one of those blessings. Teaching stewardship should also begin early.
The average full time worker making minimum wage in the U.S. takes home about $300 a week. Let’s be generous and raise that up to $500 a week. Let’s pretend she’s a single mom with two kids and like 2/3 of single moms, receives no financial help from the children’s dad. You can make the rest of the activity simple or difficult depending upon the age of your kids and how much time and money you have to spend.
Here are some of the things you can do to help your kids “become” this fictional mom to better understand God’s views on stewardship and our responsibility to help others.
Continue reading Fun Way to Teach Kids About God, Money and Poverty
I’m pretty sure the tradition goes back for decades – if not centuries. Christmas afternoon, kids suddenly begin communicating with their friends. “Gabby got a new iPhone.” “Tommy got the latest gaming system.” Even the least materialistic kids in the world, begin turning the slightest shade of green with envy. The gifts that were “awesome” a few hours ago, now seem a bit sad by comparison.
Let’s be honest. We’ve probably all been there. Your engagement ring, car or house are perfectly wonderful…until you see one a friend has that’s much newer and nicer. In fact, comparisons can even have you wanting something very badly you had said you would never want only hours earlier.
Continue reading Helping Kids Avoid the Comparison Trap
Gift giving to kids always fascinates me. There are the families who encourage their kids to ask for donations to charity instead of gifts for themselves. There are families who have a three or four gift limit. There are grandparents who shower kids in presents. There are uncles, aunts and friends who purposely seek out the most annoying gifts possible for your kids in order to amuse themselves.
My theory is that if you want your kids to reach their godly potential and become mighty men and women of God, there are special gifts you should give them. Don’t worry. Many of them are actually more fun than those plastic toys with a million pieces (although some of these are probably also plastic with a million pieces…). Yet these gifts have a secondary purpose. They are gifts that make your kids think or help them discover some of the gifts God may (or may not) have given them. Hopefully, they will point your kids towards who God created them to be.
So what are these gifts? In the list below, I have given you categories, but also a link to an example in that category to start your thinking. (I am not endorsing any particular company, brand or product including the website to which the link takes you. I merely want to give you a visual of the types of things I am suggesting.)
Continue reading Gifts to Help Kids Reach Their Godly Potential
When our daughter was younger, we played lots of board games. Over the years, the games changed as we moved from CandyLand (one of the happiest days of my life!) to Monopoly to the challenging family and friend games my husband now invents. I also began to realize these days and nights of game playing helped us teach and reinforce many lessons on godly behavior.
The great thing about board games is that you can often find them at yard sales for a couple of dollars. Many families may be willing to give or loan you some of their old board games. In fact, some older versions of games are an interesting look back at how popular culture has changed over the decades. You can also create your own games with some poster board or your computer.
Once you have your board games, what lessons can your kids learn from them about how God wants them to live their lives?
Continue reading Christian Kids and Board Games