Hi, I am Nataly and I am the co-founder of Work It, Mom!
I write the daily Work It, Mom! Blog where I talk about issues affecting working moms, goings on in our Work It, Mom! community, new site features, updates,and contests. I also share my own juggle between work and family and love to see members jump in with comments. Come and visit often!
Nataly's profile on Work It, Mom!
We were visiting friends in New York City this past weekend (where I was basically in tears over how much I miss living there, but that’s for an entirely different post) and went into a kids’ book store. Our daughters are the same age, five, and of course after running around for a bit they came asking if they could get stuff. One was carrying a book, the other a science experiment kit.
Our friends were standing off to the side talking to my husband so I ended up being the one who was asked. My first instinct was to say no. I generally think that giving into my daughter’s every whimsy is a bad idea and just because we go into the store doesn’t mean we’re going to buy something there. On the flip side, we were there for a short visit, the girls were behaving really well (despite being dragged around doing adult stuff most of the weekend), and the things they wanted to get were reasonably priced and items I would consider great — a good book and a fun, interesting science kit.
I told the girls to go play some more and that I’d talk to the other girl’s mom and see what we decide. They didn’t whine and left to check out more books — which I think pushed me over the edge towards deciding that it was actually a good occasion to get them each a small gift. But it did get me thinking about the recession and whether it was affecting the amount of things we were getting for our daughter or the amount of stuff she was asking for.
I couldn’t come up with a clear answer. Of course, like most families, we’ve cut down on spending during the past year, when the economy tanked and my husband was laid off for a few months. But I can’t say that we’ve dramatically reduced the number of things we’ve bought for our daughter in terms of books or toys. We generally try to buy less than we theoretically can or she would like to — we have enough spoilage from grandparents as it is. So the recession hasn’t had a dramatic effect. But one thing I do think we probably need to start doing is being more clear and honest with our daughter about money and why we’re not buying certain things. She is only five, but I am pretty sure she can understand some simple, basic explanations, and more importantly, that she can feel stress if we feel money stress and more explanation is better than less.
A recent British study I was just reading about supports the idea that kids are actually savvier than parents might think about the economy and how it’s affecting their parents. According to the study: “While only 18% of parents thought their children were concerned about the credit crunch, in reality the figure is much higher - more than half (55%) of kids said they were worried about the impact the recession was having on their mum and dad.” As the result, the kids were less likely to pester their parents for unnecessary stuff at the supermarket.
Have you noticed that your kids ask for less stuff because they understand that money is tighter? Do you talk to kids about money and specifically, about the recession and how it’s impacting your family?
Subscribe to blog via RSS