This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

How to Say 'No' When Your Child's Activities Drain Your Wallet

For older children, and especially with teens and pre-teens, a discussion about the cost of activities should take place, Tayne says. Teens and pre-teens are learning that they have to work to buy things, and that's a good thing.

Learning that you have to earn money to spend money "not only teaches them the importance of patience and waiting for the things they desire, but also the concept of money, along with fiscal responsibility and accountability," Tayne says.

If you haven't already said "yes" to too many activities, it's a good idea to sit down with your child and explain to them how much money you're able to put toward lessons and camps in future, says Donna Tonrey, a marriage and family therapist at La Salle University in Philadelphia.  

"It is important for parents to decide the budget, then let the child know how many activities can be chosen. The decision starts with the parent. So if the parent has enough to cover two activities and there are three to choose from, the parents can help the child in the choice while making it clear there will only be two activities."

For parents who are afraid of putting their foot down when it comes to something their child loves, Tayne says it doesn't have to be a negative experience or conversation.

"The best approach is to empower your children by asking them to choose their top two or three activities that they wish to participate in, which will help you gain better perspective of which activities are a priority and which ones can be put on a waiting list," she says.

Parents can also look at any discussion about after-school activity spending as a chance to open a broader dialogue about limits and boundaries, Tayne says.

"We can't have everything we want when we want it. If children don't learn the virtue of patience at an early age, a parent could find themselves in a very difficult situation when that child is older and it comes time to say 'no' to a big-ticket item they are wanting," she explains.

No matter your child's age or the budget you're working with, Boyd-Soisson says that there's always a deeper message to be heard when it comes to spending money.

"It's a good lesson to learn that things that don't cost a lot of money can be the most enjoyable -- such as spending time with family."

2 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,614.81 +215.14 1.31%
S&P 500 1,941.28 +37.27 1.96%
NASDAQ 4,419.4780 +103.4040 2.40%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs