Thursday, July 05, 2007

My Daughter's Currency

Money is a very abstract concept. Money has no value intrinsically. Money has value because society "agrees" it has value and treats it as such. While growing up, children learn the concept of money and the benefits/incentives associated with money. Until one understands the concept, money has no meaning.

My daughter knows what money is, but she doesn't know what money can do. She recognizes coins and bills. She knows what a penny, nickel, quarters and various bills are. She knows we spend them. For now, she doesn't understand meaning of money, the benefits of money, or the value of money.

However, my daughter has a different currency. It is just as meaningful and valuable as money. And we trade it all the time. Here is a summary of her currency:

Stickers. The are small ladybug and star stickers which she received when we started toilet training. When getting one, she loves to pick out the specific sticker. She places the stickers on her arms and legs and keeps count.

Stars and smiley faces on a Progress Chart. We evolved from stickers to drawing stars and smiley faces for each successful use of the toilet . We have a chart for every week by day. We cheer every time she earns one and we count the totals every day. Her success rate has increased tremendously since we started using this currency.

While I don't think money is the next currency, I expect we will need to continue to evolve her currency. Perhaps, we'll start letting her trade in stickers, stars and smiley faces for something she would like.

For more on Crossing Generations, check back every Thursday for a new segment.

Photo Credit:, Darren Hester

This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2007 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

1 comment:

Journal Writer said...

Great post! We went through the same thing with our son. Now he knows money buys stuff, but doesn't quite get where it comes from. Last night watching Mad Money he learned roaring bears are bad for us. I think that'll take a while to fully sink in. ;)