RE-flections by Beryl Aschenberg, Director of Religious Education
We can tell our values by looking at our checkbook stubs.
~ Gloria Steinem
Children realize very early in life that money has value. They understand that getting a toy means that someone (often a parent) must spend money, or that they need to save up to buy something they want. Some have the opportunity to do chores or jobs that can earn them money to save or spend. They are also exposed to loved ones working a job to earn money to provide the house they live in, the food they eat, the clothes they wear, and the charities they support.
In a world where money is everywhere, it is important to teach kids to view money responsibly. In terms of religious values, we know that money talks. Children can develop a lifelong habit of generosity and support for their ideals, particularly if 1) they see that being modeled by their parents and 2) they are introduced to a variety of causes, and opportunities to support or donate to those.
Many years ago, I learned of a nifty little bank called the “Moonjar Money Box”. Each of the banks consists of three moneyboxes (Spending, Saving, and Sharing), a passbook, and information that will help parents to teach their children good financial management skills. I’ve also seen piggybanks online that include sections for those elements, with an additional space build in for investing. Both these products are easy to find online if you are interested, or with a little ingenuity, I suspect that many families could figure out how to create their own compartmentalized financial tools for children.
During the weeks ahead, church stewardship will be a focus at Follen. This is an opportune time for adults to speak with children about how the church functions because of the generosity of its members, and to let them know why and how you choose to support our religious community. Perhaps you might encourage your Children the opportunity to make an offering to the church in some form as well: the sharing of time, treasure, and talent is a beautiful gift for a person of any age to give! .
In faith, with love,