MONEY LESSONS: Sonia Kempshaw (centre) with five of her kids (l-r) Caitlan, 16, Vale, 8, Jasper, 3, Abrial, 10 and Tory, 13. Photo Adam Hourigan
MONEY LESSONS: Sonia Kempshaw (centre) with five of her kids (l-r) Caitlan, 16, Vale, 8, Jasper, 3, Abrial, 10 and Tory, 13. Photo Adam Hourigan

Smart parenting pays off

AS EVERY parent knows, and will eventually speak the words from the mouths of their own parents, "money doesn't grow on trees".

But the concept is rarely understood by children who see cash dispensed from a machine, apparently materialising from nowhere and on demand.

Sandy Crossing mum-of-10 Sonia Kempshaw knows better than most how difficult it can be to manage a household budget, and finally she says it just clicked.

"It all started when one of my kids asked for something while shopping one day and I said I didn't have enough money for it and they said, 'Go get some out of the machine'," Ms Kempshaw said.

"I realised then, that's what they thought - money comes out of a hole in the wall."

So she decided to teach her children how to appreciate and manage money, and get them ready for the real world.

"We have a different way of doing things at our house," she said.

"Nobody gets anything for free. When they get home from school they put their bags down and go to work.

"If they don't do their job they don't get paid their pocket money."

She said all their enjoyment money came out of their own pocket, including allocation of computer time, games and phone calls.

"They soon learn the more work they put in, the more they get back."

Ms Kempshaw and her partner Warren Kempshaw admit they're pretty strict but say if more people spent time adjusting their kids to life in the real world there'd be fewer problems when they leave home.

Even the three-year-old picks up the dog bowls.

"The biggest thing kids need is to be adjusted," she said.

"They need to know how to work and have respect for themselves, not be given everything.

"If they don't learn how to manage money when they're at home, they'll never understand how to do it when they leave home."



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