Looming

by Courtney Sirotin on November 9, 2012

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There’s this book that’s been looming over me, reminding me of some of my shortcomings. It was a gift from our financial planner and it went from his office to the floor of my car for a number of months. (I know, I am horribly ungrateful. Luckily, the person who gave it to us would expect this of me and wouldn’t be offended if he knew how I reacted to the book.) Eventually, the book made its way inside the house and onto a pile of Dylan’s picture books. Whenever I see it, I feel anxious.

I recognize that I am pretty good at some aspects of parenting. I’m good at doting, creating fun activities and maintaining Dylan’s hygiene, for example. One thing I am not good at, however, and don’t expect to become much better at, is this:

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Do you remember when you were little and you would listen to adults talking and all the big words you didn’t know yet sounded like another language? That’s what I still hear when people talk about finances. When someone starts talking to me about money, investments, projections, taxes, stocks, etc., I make this really big internal effort to follow along. I aggressively order myself, in my head, to “PAY ATTENTION!” and “STAY FOCUSED!” and then, as I’m telling myself these things, my mind starts to wander onto anything and everything else. I just…can’t.

My disinterest in finances and/or my inability to understand them has negatively affected my life, so I owe it to Dylan to try to help him understand money better than me so that he can have a more secure and predictable future. Basically, I know that I need to read this book and actually do what it says because, left to me, Dylan will never “appreciate the value of a dollar.” (I’m notorious for getting him something every time we go to a store and I know that’s not recommended. I’m just a softie.)

So anyway, I’m staring at this book on the table next to me and its making me anxious. I’m going to flip though it right now and and pull out the first few things that catch my eye.

—interlude while I scan the book—

Wow! That was scary! I saw a lot of intimidating words in there but I selected three nuggets that I sort of like and could probably start doing now:

1) The author discusses how important it is to teach your child how to create resumes and personal biographies. He suggests that even a toddler can start learning how to do this through the creation of a poster board that lists/illustrates some of their accomplishments (i.e. going potty, doing a somersault, running fast). You can include things that your child is still working on and a place for him/her to check it off once its done.

2) The author recommends allowances. He says that kids have access to money whether or not they get an allowance, but those that do get an allowance seem to better understand money because they gain more control over it.

3) He recommends having your child pay for things at the store. (We already do this one!). Let your child run your debit card through the machine or give the clerk cash and collect the change. Being involved in paying might help your child understand that the goods have value and he/she will be more appreciative of them.

Oh man, even that little bit left my brain exhausted. Well, maybe my brain is exhausted because it is 11:31 pm.

In closing, let it be known that I am going to try to read this book! Some day. Maybe.

Oy.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

DONNA November 10, 2012 at 4:30 am

God bless you, Courtney. Good luck! You must get your fiscal knowledge from your mother!

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