As parents, we are making choices daily about how to best utilize our resources, including money, to fulfill the needs of the family. Let’s begin to share that responsibility with the kids. When they are given the opportunity to make their own choices with money, they will bump up against a problem we’ve all experienced of not having enough money for all the things we want.
One of the best ways to teach kids how to solve this problem is to have them solve the problem themselves. The key is to not be too quick to step in and rescue them at the first sign of struggle. This tends to stop their thinking and can send the message that we don’t have faith in their ability to come up with a solution.
It’s in the struggles and the disequilibrium where real learning takes place and they get to enjoy the sweet success of figuring it out by themselves. It’s also where they learn that persistence pays off and where real problem-solvers are born. When kids are given an opportunity to succeed at a difficult task, they begin to take on other more difficult tasks with confidence.
As uncomfortable as it can be to watch them struggle with a problem, rest assured that the lesson they learned is going to stick with them forever.