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Learning About Money

Posted by Kristen on May 17, 2010 at 6:59 AM in Kids and Money
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I turned around and Ethan was five. He was just born so I don't know how that happened. Everyone you know says, "Enjoy them while they are young because they grow up so fast" and every study you ready says that they learn the easiest before turning five.

I'm failing miserably on both ends. I really want to enjoy my kids while they are young but when your day consists of keeping one child from flushing pretty much everything down the toilet and the other two from getting into a light saber fight that ends with someone's eye getting poked out, feeling "enjoyment" may get lost in the mix.

As for filling up your children's brains with absolutely as much as possible until they reach saturation, I'm missing the boat. Luckily for me, Ethan has taken to teaching himself things. Today was about money or "cents" as he was calling it.

E: Momomomomom. What is a cent?
K: It's a penny.
E: Dad offered me 10 cents to help him clean the car and take all the tree branches to the side of the yard. Is that a lot?
K: No. I told you not to accept that. Ugh with your father. Don't get me wrong. Ten cents is nice to have but it isn't much.
E: How about a dollar?
K: A dollar is good. A dollar is 100 cents.
E: WOW! That is a lot.

With that we went through nickels, dimes, quarters and a junk silver peso his father had given him (except I had no idea how much the junk silver peso was worth since you really don't see them in circulation these days in D.C.). Combinations of these coins and those coins. Seeing what we had left when we took some away.

I continued to drag the branches to the back as he asked me the questions. He told me he had a thousand dollars. I looked over and he had $1.25. He asked me how much more he needed for a jet.

K: What kind of jet?
E: A real plane.
K: You want to buy a plane?
E: Yes.
K: Why?
E: So we can fly places. How much more do I need?
K: You could probably get something fairly nice for about $7 million more.
E: Is that a lot?
K: Yes.
E: Dad said he would give me 10 cents. How much more would I need after that.
K: I think it's still safe to say you need about $7 million.

He walked away with a pocket full of money and a very big dream. The nice thing about five years old is that they are really good at asking all the questions they need answered.

Have more questions about your five year old? PBS Parents can help.


Mary Ellen writes...

Cute story!

Jess writes...

What an excellent goal! Who doesn't need a personal plane?

I hear you on having trouble enjoying every moment. Three boys here, too. I spend less time enjoying lately than I do preventing WWIII and putting out fires. So far no literal fires. Oh, god, are there gonna be fires? Hold me.

Right now they're all asleep. I'm enjoying this moment. Suck it, advicey old ladies.

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