My parents went shopping over the weekend and as a promotion received red envelopes with coupons and prizes inside in honor of Chinese New Year, which began at midnight January 23rd.
The celebration lasts for fifteen days. One of the activities that will happen during those fifteen days is the giving of “lucky money.” Different traditions exist around this lucky money. Most cultural groups hand out the money to children. Many hand out the money in red envelopes, others in green or white envelopes. A friend of mine says in his culture lucky money is thought to represent starting out the New Year in prosperity with a wish that it will continue all year. He says it is also a time to clear one’s debts and start fresh and had many stories to tell about his parents and their actions during Chinese New Year. He also recounts how his parents taught him to spend and save the money he received in his red envelopes.
I got to thinking about what my friend learned about money from this tradition. So much of what our children learn they learn from our examples and actions not from our words. I wonder what my children are learning about money and debt from what they see and hear. I would love to hear your thoughts on the topic and also any ideas you have for teaching children the value and role of money.