Using Problems as Opportunities

Son, if you really want something in this life, you have to work for it. Now quiet! They’re about to announce the lottery numbers.  

– Homer Simpson 

 Given the financial condition of our country and of many families, this is the perfect time to teach your child about the importance of hard work and saving, and to give the little ones a short, age-appropriate talk about using money wisely.  You’ve got the world on your side – it’s not you being the ogre and saying ‘no’ when they want to buy things – it’s the global economic crisis!! 

Despite Homer Simpson’s underlying message to his son that playing the lottery is a good way to earn money, the truth is nothing comes for free -even though, when we use our credit cards, our children seem to think that things are free. So use the economic downturn as a teachable moment, imparting the values of thrift and hard work. 

As opposed to focusing on what you might not be able to give your children materially, you can use this challenging time as an opportunity to pass on important attitudes about money, responsibility, and accountability.  No need to incorporate the gloom and doom that’s heard all too often on the news.  You can simply teach your children to buy what they need and not what always everything they want.  This will be an important lesson they will use for the rest of their lives. 

As the “real” Homer said, “Wisdom never lies.”

by Claire Gawinowicz
Parenting Educator


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