• Don't Laugh But Let Your Kids 'Pay' You for Their Holiday Presents!

    Sometimes, children need a bit of reminding what Christmas is all about.
    by Rachel Perez .
Don't Laugh But Let Your Kids 'Pay' You for Their Holiday Presents!
PHOTO BY iStock
  • Christmas is not about gifts, but it's all about the presents when you're a little kid. And we all know Christmas wishes can be expensive, and your kids need to understand that. In fact, the holidays is the ideal occasion to teach them about money and hard work. Something like: they won't have any gifts if they were not loved, so Lola or Tito worked hard to make sure they get to give a present.

    So here's a novel idea. When they want something expensive, ask your children to "earn" (or "pay") for their gifts. How? Make them use these "currencies."

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    1. Doing chores

    Let's rephrase: Extra chores because your kids should ideally have their set of home chores to begin with. Maybe she can help you cook a dish for potluck or wrap presents — it should earn them some points and a few lessons on the value of hard work. When they accumulate a certain number of points (and as you prepare your budget), they can get what they wished for. 

    Try to give your kid a new daily responsibility (ergo, add to his chores!). If he can consistently fulfill it for a series of days, then that's points for experience, too! It's entirely up to you.

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    2. Reading books

    The idea is to encourage your child to finish a book or two come in a certain period of time, which can earn them some points. Of course, you need to consider your child's age, how much free time he or she has, and the kind of reading material she's interested in. Try 10 short story books in a week for your preschooler or one short novel for your big kid. 

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    Start reading to them while they're in your womb and don't stop even if they're not paying attention when you read to them when they're babies. No matter how old your child is, you can never go wrong with encouraging your child to read. If you use this currency, then your child may acquire more love for books, improved, and a richer imagination.

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    3. Getting off the couch

    Kids today live a sedentary lifestyle — they can be on their gadgets the whole day if you don't control their screen use. So it's a good idea to make it a point to go outside and play! A few hours of physical activity will earn them stronger bones, a more alert mind, and less bad fats.  

    You can ask your child to go jogging or walking a few times around the block with you. If you don't jog, then maybe it's time to start an exercise regimen that you'd enjoy. This won't work if your child doesn't see you move and sweat.

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    4. Sleeping!

    This is a great way to get your kids to nap or sleep early. Heads up, though: it can be a little tricky since the days leading up to the holidays (and even after) are littered with family reunions and get-togethers with friends what may sometimes require staying up late. You don't want to be kill-joy parent, right? 

    Set or aim a certain number of additional hours of sleep per week for your child. Again, be age-appropriate and consider your family's schedule. How about just an extra three hours of sleep in a week or an extra nap for your younger kids? It can be a few nights in a week of early lights for your gradeschooler. 

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    Like exercise, sleep is a crucial factor in staying healthy. Most of the time, in the busy life we all lead today—yes, including kids—time for our body and mind to rest and recharge is the first to suffer. We often push to be awake even beyond our limits. This currency can help reinforce the importance of snooze time in your home.

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