Saturday, June 5, 2010
What could be better on a nice warm day than ice-cream? Many of us foreigners can be seen enjoying ice-cream at New Day outside the dining hall after lunch these days. Our family is no exception! Everyone wanted ice-cream except Serena, who usually likes it but decided she wanted something else much more expensive instead of ice-cream. When I told her she could not have the item, but could have ice-cream instead, she was a bit upset and chose not to eat it. As like most of these children that come from a much poorer prior environment where they often have very little possessions of their own, we frequently have issues with money for awhile after they arrive. Can you imagine the difference?! Although we have much more than they were accustomed to, it takes awhile for them to realize that money doesn't grow on trees and they can't have everything that fancies their eye! We do our best to try and teach them the value of money. For instance, each week we give each of the girls a small allowance based on their age and ability to handle money (for new girls). When Serena first came, we gave her a small allowance. Something I'm sure she'd never been given before--money all her own. She greatly desired some jewelry such as a necklace or bracelet so I took her and all the girls to the store to spend some of their money. Although she greatly desired a necklace all week and I twice reminded her of that while she was in the store, she decided not to purchase that but bought food with her money. As soon as it was all gone, she wanted me to buy her a necklace. I reminded her that I had given her money to spend and she could have bought one, but choose not to. I stuck to my guns and didn't buy her one. The next week, she bought one realizing that if she wanted one, she needed to spend her money on it. She has worn it proudly everyday since then! It was a good lesson for her. We've found that this really helps them learn how and what to spend their money on, to save up if they want to buy something bigger, and to save for things like other people's birthdays and other special occasions. This, however, is not a quick process, as you know, but takes time to learn. Of course, we have a saving, spending, and giving percentage. We've found it to work well and helps them learn the value of money. Something very, very valuable in life!!