How to not spoil kids with toys or junk and normalize a saving culture from an early age!

Where’s the fun in a rollercoaster?

One never knows where’s the next turn is, or to where. A sheer drop will happen when one expects a turn left, or a sudden rise that leaves the bowels churning.

Modern parenting is akin to riding one.

The working parent spends more hours at work – deadlines, traffic, travel, et al. The kids spend more time at school, and gigantic loads of homework. Where’s the time to teach life’s basics and societal norms like it should be?

Often times, little treats and surprises for the kids make up for this. An average household is littered with abandoned toys. Other times, it’s junk – perhaps, an even worse choice for instant juvenile gratification.

Recently, I was jolted by a strict mother ahead of me on the line at the cashier’s desk, at the mall. I kept thinking that she’d given me an impetus to teach financial tenets to my five year old daughter.

As always, the cashier’s desk is massively loaded with trendy gizmos, flashy packed junk and whatnot – cunningly meant to squeeze out that last dollar.

As the cashier ran the mother’s groceries, the kid – perhaps four or five – picks a Superman model and says, “Mum, I think I’ll pick this one today…”

The mum grabs the toy and places it back. “No, Max, I can’t afford that. You have to save for it.”

The kid bursts into tears. The mum, classic Kenyan-style, grabs an ounce of flesh under his sweater and pulls him away from the cashier’s desk – with a handful of change in her hands.

“Listen, Max, this is my money. If you want to buy your stuff, save your money.”

“But, mum, am saving for a bike.” The kid, says, all teary. The mum is unmoved.

“I know. If you also want Spiderman, too”.

“It’s SUPERMAN – not SPIDERMAN…Muuuum!”

“I don’t care, Max – you have to use your own money for your toys!”

They left the mall, but the mum left a lasting impression on the now silent queue. It was a valuable lesson for us all.

I confess a bad habit. Every time I had shopping chores, I would buy something for my daughter. This had over time made it seem normal for her, and she’d rummage through the baskets the moment I got home.

Not today, Margaret.

As expected, Margaret was crestfallen when she couldn’t find any of her usual bites – crisps, chocolates and themed toys.

“I cannot afford those things, little one.” I tell her. “You have to now start saving to buy your toys and anything else you want.”

It takes a while, and a ton of tears and tantrums to instill this saving discipline, but it eventually pays off. The best time to teach financial discipline, and a saving culture – is as early as the kids learn to demand.

The next best time, is NOW.

Co-op Bank has a transitional account that’s a perfect tool to teach the saving culture to kids, and financial discipline that will be beneficial in their pre-adult and eventual adulthood. It’s designed for children below the age of 18 years, for the safe keeping of money.

The Jumbo Junior Bank Account.

Besides, there’s a load of other unbelievable benefits. To sign up, or learn more about Jumbo Junior, visit the nearest Co-op Bank branch, or click here.

The Big Bank Account….For Little People!

About this writer:

Kibaki Muthamia

Storyteller. SEO & UX Expert. Scriptwriter. CVs & Resumes. Biographies. [email protected]