After a stressed mother posted this picture of her Starbucks card wrapped in a $5 bill, parents began having a very different conversation…how much do children hear and remember? When parents are having a conversation in one room, can their kids hear them clearly from another? This family realized that their son was hearing it all, and they were both touched and amazed with his selfless actions.
A few months ago, my husband and I were having a conversation about our finances. Due to some very difficult circumstances, we’ve always struggled to make ends meet….but this was a particularly difficult time for us. We didn’t know it at the time, but our 4.5 year old son was taking note of this conversation in another room.
About a week later, we were running a very long day of errands as a family. I was tired and made a comment to my husband about how I could use a coffee. He reminded me that coffee just isn’t in our budget, we can’t put any money on our Starbucks card, and the conversation ended there. It was then that my son asked me for my Starbucks card (something that very rarely has a balance, but is kept safely in my wallet around my birthday and the holidays when I can reload it with gift cards). He likes playing with old gift cards and reward cards, so I passed it back to him.
About a minute later, this exchange happened…
‘What is it, honey?’
‘This is for you. I put dollars on your coffee card for you.’
I turn around. He hands me my Starbucks card, neatly wrapped inside a $5 bill he must have had in his wallet. He, being the literal child that he is, put $5 ON my card for me to buy a coffee.
Take a moment to appreciate how beautifully your children’s minds work. When my husband told me we ‘can’t put money on the card’, my son took that quite literally…. so he did it for me. I will never in my life drink a better cup of coffee than I did that afternoon.
Then, more importantly, take another moment to realize that teaching kindness to children is such a worthwhile feat. This is the same little boy who has told me in the past he wants to give ‘all of his dollars to the man that lives on the sidewalk’, and that he wants to make a lot of money when he grows up ‘so he can give his dollars to other kids that don’t have mommies or daddies.’
When you think they aren’t listening, they are. When you think you’ve said it 1,000 times but it hasn’t sunk in…. it has.
Teach your kids kindness and they will pour it into the world. They, and all of the lives your children will change, deserve it.”
Many parents have been sharing this story as both a warning and a word of encouragement. While their son may be introduced to the family’s financial struggles at too early of an age, these parents clearly demonstrated kind and giving behavior on a regular basis, meaning that their son reacted to the problem in a similar way. Some parents feel that children should never know about a family’s financial situation to feel “safe,” but others say that children should understand the value of money from an early age.
Where do you stand on this topic?
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