GUEST BLOGGER: Gwen Handel Dahlin, The Frugal Connection
Just the other day when I was getting ready to clip my Sunday coupons, I noticed my 3-year-old son was watching me from across the kitchen counter. He looked at me with his big blue eyes and said, “Mom, what are you doing?” I smiled and told him I was going to clip some coupons. “Coooopons? Can I help you?” Sure. Why not? We can both be happy and productive together, right?
So I handed him a small (kid-friendly) scissors and watched in delight as he started clipping away. Whoa, watch out for those barcodes, little buddy! As I watched him clipping away, it dawned on me. Something as simple as clipping coupons with my young son could provide several “teachable” moments.
Teachable Moment 1: Saving Money
I began to talk with him about why we use coupons, and showed him all of the things that we could save money on. I explained that the more money we saved by using coupons, the more money we could put into our piggy banks for later. He got pretty excited about that.
Teachable Moment 2: The Value of Money
I also began to explain that we can have nice things, but we don’t have to pay a lot of money for them. Prime example: Buying things at Goodwill. I reminded my son of one of our Goodwill visits when we had found a Lego Ninja Warrior set (retail price $49.99) for a mere $5.99. He remembered! Then I told him that instead of paying a lot of money for the Lego Set, we paid a small amount of money for the Lego Set, and used the rest of the money to pay for some groceries, and put some gas in the car.
Teachable Moment 3: Getting Organized
So after we were done clipping coupons, we had quite the mess on the counter. If my son would have had his way, he probably would have taken one swipe of the coupons with his little arm and whisked them all onto the floor. (I’m telling you this from prior experience, by the way.)
However, since I told him that we were on a coupon “mission,” I still had his attention. I explained to him that we were going to sort the coupons, for example, putting all of the yogurt coupons here, and all of the shampoo coupons over here. (We had a lot of duplicate coupons at the time, since I had gotten several Sunday papers that weekend.)
We began to play a “Memory” coupon game where we tried to find as many matches as we could. My son thought this game was the best game ever, and giggled whenever he found a match. Who knew Couponing could be so much fun?
Embrace these teachable moment opportunities and have fun with your kids. They love to help out, and they can learn several valuable life lessons at the same time. Talk about a win-win situation!
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