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explaining money to younger children

I need some advice on how to explain that we have no money to my 4 & 5 year olds. Before my devorce we were making good money, but now I am welfare and my ex doesn't pay child support (I am going to court but that will take time). My children don't understand why we don't have what we used to and now I am going to be losing cable and internet by the end of the week.
How do I explain this to them in a way they will understand?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 5:07 PM on May. 4, 2010 in Money & Work

Answers (4)
  • We used to play store

    Answer by rkoloms at 5:18 PM on May. 4, 2010

  • i wouldn't even mention it. they're going through so many changes already. just do free things, like the park. blaming money will only make them resent one of 2 things: you-because daddy had enough money, or daddy-because he took the money away. you shouldn't offer too much information to young kids. if they ask, answer.

     why can't i have a new toy? - because you have enough toys

     why can't we watch tv? - because it's so nice outside

     why can't we go to chuck e cheese? - because i want to have a picnic at the park

     if you can be happy without money, they will be, too.


    Answer by bestmommyeber at 5:35 PM on May. 4, 2010

  • When my daughter was 5 I cashed my paycheck ...literally had all the cash. I didn't get anything larger than a $20.

    Then I got the bills and lined them up, then told her how much each bill was and let her help me count the money.

    She got the see the bigger piles (mortgage, car pmt) and then after the bills were paid, I told her that we had to go grocery shopping with what was left. We filled the car with gas and bought groceries ...

    With little people it seems easier for them to SEE the end result .. rather than try to explain and them understand.

    Don't worry too much about little people losing cable & internet. Just have a few of their favorite movies and games or just play or dance with them.

    Sometimes people focus so much on what they dont' have that they forget to focus on what they DO HAVE!

    Good luck!

    Answer by MaryJacobs at 6:10 PM on May. 4, 2010

  • I wouldn't tell them you have no money - it's not a good idea for kids to worry about whether they are going to be able to eat or not! I agree with bestmommy above.

    Answer by missanc at 8:30 PM on May. 4, 2010

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