Thursday, January 21, 2010

Kids and money: A Chico author provides guidance


Is it Wall Street bonus season again? If so, I can hardly wait to see the examples of restraint and responsibility coming from the big money houses. Perhaps a little book can help set things straight, at least for the next generation. It's called "Love and Logic Money-isms: Wise Words About Raising Money-Smart Kids" ($6.95 in paperback from The Love and Logic Press) by Jim Fay and Kristan Leatherman, with a cover illustration by Steve Ferchaud of Paradise.

Fay is a founder of Love and Logic, described in the book as "a menu of practical techniques designed to develop responsibility and increase the parent-child bond while preparing kids to make the decisions they will encounter in their adults lives." Leatherman, based in Chico, conducts Love and Logic workshops using a volume she co-authored with Fay, "Millionaire Babies or Bankrupt Brats? Love and Logic Solutions to Teaching Kids About Money" (available from or from "Money-isms" adapts some pithy sayings from the bigger book and provides selected page references for further reading.

Here's a money-ism: "Love and Logic parents know that rescuing kids by loaning them money is rarely a good idea. Rescue teaches entitlement. Repayment teaches character." Or this: "No pay, no play. No fund, no fun. Until the child repays the loan in full, wise parents keep their kids' toys unopened in the box as collateral."

The Love and Logic process includes "the four C's": Control ("gain control by giving away the control you don't need"); Choices (give kids a chance to make decisions); Consequences (be empathetic but allow kids to "learn from their mistakes"); and self-concept (help kids build a good self-concept which pays dividends in motivation). These C's are reflected in many of the money-isms:

"When allowance gets lost or squandered, wise parents remember to say with empathy, 'This is so sad. I give allowance once a week. You'll get more on Saturday.'" "Wise parents don't pay their kids for completing chores." "Wise parents never pay their kids to do a job when the neighbor kids are willing to do it better . . . and for less."

And then there's this: "Never expect that giving concessions will bring gratitude." Maybe a money-ism for Main Street--and Wall Street--to ponder.

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