couples

"My son wants to know why his friends have nicer houses than we do."

What I tell him when he complains.

My son wants to know why his friends have nicer houses than we do, bigger cars than us, why they go on holidays and have iPods as well as iPads and we don’t. He’s ten, and he’s not asking these questions out of jealously or with any sort of accusation.

Kids just get into the habit of comparing and measuring themselves to others. You’re bound to get a few awkward questions when it comes to children and money.

“Why does everyone have more money than us?” he sometimes wants to know.

It might seem that way to him. It might seem to him that we are living more poorly than all of his friends, but in reality we aren’t. It’s hard to explain that to a child.

Sure we don't own our home, sure it isn't one of those shiny newly refurbished homes, sure our cars are a bit old and we don't go on holidays, but our lives are full of everything a child could want.

A home.

A family.

Plenty of food.

Lots of activities.

This is what I remind him of when he says things like this. But I still hate it when he feels 'less than'. I still feel offended that he seems to think his life isn't good enough.

My husband and I work very hard to maintain a good lifestyle for our children and it would be easy to let comments like this get to us. We do our best not to. We do our best not to 'slap him upside the head'.

Instead, I tell my son...

All hail the silencing powers of technology.

We have more than some, we have less than some. It's the same for pretty much everyone. How lucky are we to have more than some? What a wonderful gift it is to have less than some and still feel such happiness?

Aren't we lucky?

His reaction to my words of wisdom vary between solemn nods and eye rolls but I'm sure I'm getting through.

Even if I had all the money in the world, I'd never let my children know it. I want them to learn to appreciate what we have. I want them to be okay with not having as much as some of their friends. I want them to feel desire and to aspire to do well.

Isn't it every parent's dream that their children will do better than they have?

Aren't you lucky, son, that daddy and I haven't set the bar too high?

Do your children ever talk to you about money? Do they ever ask why they have more or less than others? What do you tell them?

Want more? Try:

3 things you should never cut costs on with kids (and 3 things it's okay to trim).

Why trips with kids aren't holidays.

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