If you’re a parent, you want to help your children learn healthy money habits. One of the most important lessons you can teach them is the skill of deferring gratification. By showing kids how to wait and save for what they want, you’re setting them up for financial success as adults. But this skill takes time to learn, and it can be challenging for both kids and adults.

Here are some fun games, incentives, and activities you can use to help your children develop the skill of delaying gratification at different ages.

Fun for Toddlers

Baking is an excellent way to introduce toddlers to waiting for a reward. When you bake, you measure and mix ingredients, wait for the cake to bake, and then have to wait for it to cool down before you can enjoy it. This process teaches toddlers that waiting now for a reward in the future is worth it.

Money Game for Kids 5-10 Years Old

Chocolate coins can be a fun way to apply the concept of delayed gratification to money. Start by giving your child a few chocolate coins. Tell them that if they hold off eating them, they will be rewarded with more gold coins. They can also trade in those chocolate coins for something else they’d like – a trip to the park, a new toy, or actual money. Set an appropriate amount of time for them to wait for the reward based on their age.

Strategy for Pre-Teens and Teens

If your child receives pocket money and wants to buy something impulsively, you can use this strategy. Tell them they can buy the item now with their pocket money, or if they wait a few weeks (and earn more pocket money in the meantime), you’ll match what they save. This strategy helps them learn that waiting and saving can lead to more significant rewards.

Form a Healthy Habit for Life

The more a child experiences a reward for exercising self-control, the more likely they are to do it. As a parent, you can teach this critical life skill by being consistent with the reward. With some games, incentives, fun, and time, your children will understand that waiting for gratification is worth it and that they have the capability to wait. This skill is essential for their financial success in life.

To learn more about budgeting tips for you and your family, contact the Inspired Money Team today. We can help you and your family build healthy money habits and create a better financial future. Don’t wait – start today!

The article was written by Conrad Francis, Director and Coach @ Inspired Money.

Written by

Inspired Money