UNITED STATES—How do you teach children the value of a dollar? It seems plenty of children nowadays seem to think that money actually grows on trees, but here is the harsh reality: MONEY DOES NOT! Trust me if money actually grew on trees I think a lot of Americans would actually have money trees in their homes and we would not have the financial issues that so many families endure time and time again.

For some adults, they are aware of the fact that money is an intriguing commodity that can be utilized to get the goods and services that so many of us need and for a vast majority desire to have. For those who have yet to understand the power of money as adults, they may not ever learn how to manage money. However, when it comes to children there is still time to teach them.

Why is this important? You don’t want to raise a child who becomes a spoiled brat do you? I know I don’t and if you don’t nip things at an early age the problem only intensifies and gets worse as time passes. They don’t understand how hard a parent works in a given hour to earn a buck. So those toys or so called items that a child thinks is affordable or cheap they don’t get the labor that comes with the money mom and dad are spending for the child to enjoy the fruits of that labor people.

Can you imagine that? Taking $100 to purchase an item that you child absolutely wants, and then throwing a fit when he or she doesn’t get that item. You can change that behavior people by teaching your children the importance of earning a buck, by forcing them to do chores. Yes, you heard me correctly chores. For each chore you do you can earn a specific amount of money. However, you have to tread the waters carefully. Why? You don’t want your children to think every time they complete a task in the home they will get paid.

The child should look at the money they earn as a privilege. Hell, when I was a kid chores were mandatory, you didn’t get paid to do it, nor were you looking to get paid for doing it. If you received a few dollars as a result it was an unexpected bonus, one that makes the child thankful. There is the key word America, ‘thankful.’ When a child appreciates the money they have earned it shows they understand the actual power of a buck which is precisely what you want them to understand a realize when it comes to money.

If a child respects and values a dollar they will understand it is much harder to just spend frivolously without realizing the labor sacrificed to earn that money. It is a win-win for both parties: the parent is teaching the child a valuable lesson and the child is learning that money does not grow on trees as my parents echoed to me so many times in my life. I hate to say it over and over again, but money is the root of all evil.

Sometimes people will do heinous things to get their hands on it, but if we teach at an early age how working hard, respecting a dollar and be willing to sacrifice or delay immediate gratification for goods and services we can all come out on the other end better people in general.