When I think back to being a kid, I used to think that my dad loved me more than my mum did. My mum made most of the rules and oversaw all of the homework and chores. My dad was the one who bought us stuff.
So, money = love.
Pretty simple, but that’s kid logic for you. The problem with kid logic is that we don’t always take the time to explore all of our underlying beliefs to find out how they got started, so, even as adults, we go around thinking things like “money = love” and we end up in a relationship with someone who doesn’t have that belief. But we don’t know that, because we’re so used to our way of thinking. You can see how this is heading for trouble, right?
I’m a parent now, and I definitely use money to show my kids that I love them. It’s certainly not the only way; in fact, it’s pretty low on the list, but it’s there. And I think this is okay.
It’s okay to use money to show someone that you care.
But the message needs to be clear, especially with kids, that money does not equal love. We can use money as a tool to show that we care, much as we use our time.
It’s fun to buy things for others. I just bought two of the tiniest, cutest bottles of safe nailpolish for my daughter yesterday. She loves to sit and have her nails painted. So, yes, I bought her something and it felt nice to give it to her. But it’s about the time that we are going to spend painting our toe nails together that is really what it’s all about. I love watching her pick a colour and seeing her tiny little toes wiggle.
Much in the same way, I bought my boys a book a few weeks back. I bought it for them AND promised that I would read it to them, one chapter at a time. It’s way better than tv and always leaves them begging for more!
Giving is nice; it feels great. But I know that the message that I am giving my kids is that money is nice to spend, but spending time together is really what love is about.
Does money = love for you? Where does that belief come from? Does that belief help you or hinder you? I’d love to hear your comments!