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I need advice from parents.

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Hey everyone¬†ūüėÄ

I couldn't think of a better group of people to get advice from. Just a few things to point out so this doesn't turn into the longest post ever (which I have a feeling it will). I am a single mother of three, ages ranging from 8-11. Their father and I have been separated for almost seven years now. He spends a few hours with them on the weekend and some holidays if he is not scheduled to work. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that he is not strict with the kids. He tries to buy their love with materialistic things. I am the complete opposite. Although I make more money than he does, I do not believe in frivolous spending. I do not give into their every single demand. I would be broke if I did. That was just the backstory. Just last month he agreed to start giving them an allowance, $10 every two weeks for each of the older kids and $5 for the younger one. Since I have been promising them for awhile I would be giving them an allowance, I thought I would give the same amount as their dad (not as a competition). My son already saved $65 and bought a new pair of sneakers the other day when he went out with his dad, while I was working. He already owns four other pairs, one of which he swears is too tight on him. I just want to raise money conscious children, that do not love spending all their money. My daughter already gave away $10, because she claims she owed her friend that lent her the money when she didn't have anything. I am starting to have mixed feelings about them having money.

*What is an appropriate amount of allowance?

*Should I have rules about how the money is spent?

At the same time, I want them to learn how good it feels to save money and how awful it feels to have nothing when they spend it all. Aside from that, I did start passbook savings accounts for them. I let them fill out the deposit slips and they actually make the deposits at the teller's window themselves. Every few months, I will give them $100 and it goes into that account. They know it is for the future and not for use today.

 

That was one topic. The next one is about girls trying to impress other girls. My daughter is 11 and she is one of the kindest and sweetest girls. However, she was recently body shamed by her own friends. They made a comment about her weight. She is on the thinner side of the scale, but completely healthy. I've always known my daughter to be confident, but she keeps going back to these same mean girls. I have been trying to teach her the value of friendships and how we need to cut people out sometimes if they do not make us feel good on the inside. Anyone have any words of wisdom or had a daughter in a similar situation. I want her to feel strong enough to speak up against them, as I know they are mean to other kids. There is still so much more I want to add, but I could already imagine the look on all your faces when you see the length of this post. Thanks!

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Really guys? Not a single person has anything to say? [Insert sad emoji]

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I hesitate to comment on your post, because I don't think you will like what I say but here goes. 

It seems to me that you want to have control of the money, even if you say it is theirs. I have a feeling you would like to control what their father gives them as well, or at least you think of money as a means of competing with him. Children are going to make mistakes, and sometimes that is the best way to learn. Perhaps you can help them set up a budget, with say 10% for giving (tithing to church or charity or whatever) 40% for fun money, and 50% for long-term. 

I have no idea what a reasonable amount to give is. 20 years ago my children got $20 a week for lunch and fun money. The eldest saved half, my daughter would lose it, and the youngest ate it all. If they wanted something bigger, they would earn money through chores. 

Something I know about boys, their feet grow rapidly, like puppies. Both my boys had size 12 shoes by the time they were in junior high, but didn't grow to their full height until they were 19 or 20. 

As for mean girls, you can't change the behavior of others. You can encourage your daughter to be a strong, confident woman whose worth is not dependent on her appearance. As for people who criticize, I say continue to be kind to them. We don't know each others' struggles. 

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I appreciate your post. Maybe I am unconsciously trying to control their money. I guess they'll never learn to be financially responsible if I don't give them the chance. I grew up in a way where basic needs were met and extra cash was never laying around for us to spend. Sundays was the only day we ate out. Thank you for your input.

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I grew up in a similar manner. My parents were quite frugal, and did not believe in allowances. And they insisted anything I earned from baby-sitting or berry picking should be saved. I wish had learned more about budgeting earlier in life. 

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