Is a Child’s Gift Registry a Good Idea?

When I was young, one of my favorite things to do in November was to go through the thick Sears and JCPenney catalogs (for those of you as old as me, you remember getting catalogs sent to your house every year) and creating a wish list of all the items I wanted to get for Christmas.

I gave this practice up a long time ago, but my cousin who is now 30 still types out a detailed wish list for her parents every year.

The modern wish list can now be found in the form of Toys ‘R Us’ new Wish List which is touted as “the ultimate toy registry—Perfect for Holidays and Birthdays.”

I admit I was originally appalled by the idea of a gift registry for children.
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Financial Literacy: What to Teach Younger Children

Financial literacy is an important part of raising children to be successful and independent.

However, good money habits don’t just develop spontaneously.

Children need to have instruction in financial literacy from the time they are small.  It is possible for you to teach younger children about money, building a solid financial foundation for them in the years that follow.

Teaching Toddlers

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How to Combine Children with Work-at-Home Jobs

Many parents—mothers especially—see work-at-home as the perfect blend of work and child rearing.  Because you’re at home you can both earn a living and be close to your children.  Additionally, you can save the substantial cost that comes with daycare.

But is that how it will work? It could, but it will depend on a number of factors and how you’ll handle them.

The type of work you’ll do from home

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Selecting the Best Cell Phone Plan for your Child

Kids and Cell Phones Part ll – Selecting the Best Cell Phone Plan

Last time in What is the Right Age to Give Your Child a Cell Phone? we tried answering the “when” question of kids and cell phones.   This week we’ll assume the answer to that question is “now”, and tackle some of the mechanical details that come right after that decision.

Phone Types

Cell phones have evolved well beyond basic communication in just a few years, so it’s possible to get one that can do just about anything you can imagine.  And that’s precisely why parental judgment becomes critical.   I see kids with Blackberries and iPhones, but my feeling is that they shouldn’t have them on two counts: [Read more…]

Is There Anything Wrong With Painting A Boy’s Toenails Pink?

I heard about a recent brouhaha over a J Crew ad that come out in which a designer has painted her young son’s toenails pink.  In the ad, designer Jenna Lyons says “Lucky for me I ended up with a baby whose favorite color is pink.  Toenail painting is way more fun in neon.”

Over at Fox News, Dr. Keith Ablow criticized the designer’s decision to paint her son’s toes pink  Dr. Ablow claims in his criticism “This is a dramatic example of the way that our culture is being encouraged to abandon all trappings of gender identity—homogenizing males and females when the outcome of such ‘psychological sterilization’ [my word choice] is not known.”
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Sesame Street and Teaching Kids About Money – For Me, For You, For Later

Who doesn’t like Sesame Street? I grew up watching it and now I watch it with my kids (the little one loves singing Elmo’s World).  Not only is it fun to watch, but they do a great job of teaching children as well.

Sesame Street has teamed up with PNC Bank to produce For Me, For You, For Later – First Steps to Spending. Sharing, and Saving™.

The site, part of the SesameStreet.org website, provides instructional materials to help teach children about money and saving.  In it you will find videos, songs, and printable materials.

Children may not always get a formal education in money and saving but what they do get is the example we set as parents.  The materials in For Me, For You, For Later help parents talk to their children about the basics of money.
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