When Should Kids Start Giving Their Own Presents?


Recession Mama Michele Ashamalla: I'm not talking about giving a scribbled drawing or macaroni necklace to a parent, but about planning out gifts for the friends and relatives who traditionally give a present to that child for birthdays or holidays. When should that type of giving start?

I remember shopping in a drugstore with my mom when I was 9. I had three dollars of my own to spend and gifts to buy for my mom, dad, an aunt and uncle, my grandmother and my sister. I don't remember everything I got, but my mom helped me select pocket combs for my dad and uncle, and I slipped away so I could get her and my aunt each a lipstick in the terrifying shade of coral that was popular then, which I thought was so beautiful. (It was the '70s ....) 

My daughter started buying some of her own Christmas presents and birthday presents last year. There have been some Dollar Store and Big Lots purchases, and I've helped her find the occasional deal on Amazon or eBay. I think it reinforces one of the main things I try to teach my children: Always think of others. 

Aside from them having having to save up so they can spend money on others (or give up something else, like the time it takes to make something nice), it requires them to really consider the other person and their likes and dislikes. 

My son is 8. Should he start this year, or is he too young?


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