#1: Allow Scripture to shape your child’s attitude about their possessions from an early age. Everything we have is His. He made it. He owns it. It’s all His. (James 1:17) From an early age, encourage your child to be generous with what God has given them. Encourage them to share their toys and possessions. Some children naturally share, whereas others find this difficult. No matter the disposition of your child, expect your child to share with others.
#2: As Christians we are unbelievably rich! God has given us Jesus and all the blessings that come from being in Him. Read one verse per week from Ephesians 1:3-14. Choose one of these good things (blessings) and write it as a headline (Chosen By God Before The World Began!). Each week discuss the blessing as a family, pray about it and put it up on the fridge.
#3: We can trust God in everything. (Matthew 5:25-33) God’s generosity and provision is observed in his generosity and provision in nature. He clothes and cares for the insignificant sparrow and the fleeting flower. Spend time with your child observing creation, highlighting God’s care and provision.
#4: Help your child learn to reflect on how unsatisfying money and material possessions really are. Exercise: sit down with your child and write a list of the things they have bought in the last 6 months. Share a list of things you've bought with them as well. Together, cross off things that are no longer around (eaten, broken, lost, old…). Underline with a wiggly line those things that are still around but are not liked or played with or used anymore. Read Ecclesiastes 5:10-11 together. Finally, circle the things that are still used and liked. How long will these things last?
#5: Teach your child about long term investment - money that lasts for eternity. Regularly thank God as a family for the people who have come to faith in Jesus because of the work of your local church, mission work you support, the work of Compassion… anywhere where you as a family have given money for gospel work.
#6: Children need to see how much to give. Giving is to be done in secret, only our Heavenly Father needs to know. But as parents, our children need to see how much to give. Show or visually represent how much money you as a family have decided to give to God.
#7: Every now and again ask your child to hand in the family tithe on Sunday.
#8: Warn your child of the dangers of loving of money. (Matt 5:24) Exercise: Using two firm balls about the size of a softball or bigger, ask your child to put one hand behind their back and pick up both balls at the same time with the other hand. They will only ever be able to hold one ball at a time, never both at the same time. One will always be dropped. Point of this exercise: you can’t love money and God. One will always win your heart over the other.
#9: When giving money to your child (pocket money, payment for jobs…) give it to them in coins. This makes it easier for them to divide it up as soon as they get it.
#10: Help your child set up three moneyboxes, jars, wallets, purses… they can use to divide up their money as soon as they receive it: money for God, money for savings, money to spend. (see the free resource titled, 'Money For God' available in Kidswise Membership)
Ten Tips by Sandy Galea © 2014 Kidswise