How to Say No to Kids' Extracurriculars Draining Your Wallet
By Kathryn Tuggle
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Horseback riding lessons, dance class and band camp may sound like great ways to get your child interested, engaged and out of the house, but extracurricular activities often carry a hefty price tag. If you're finding the cost of your child's activities difficult to manage, you aren't alone. Experts say it's not always easy to discuss the financial burden of such activities with your children, but it has to be done.
"The best way to say 'no' is just to say 'no,'" says Erin Boyd-Soisson, professor of human development and family science at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pa. "Say: 'Look, we only have enough money for you to pick one or two activities to be in.'"
Boyd-Soisson says honesty is always the best policy, and parents should be upfront with their children that there are money concerns at play. Simply saying "You need to narrow down your list of activities" is a missed opportunity to teach your child a real-life lesson."Children can feel tension, even if they don't know what that tension is. It's better, in most cases, if they know the source of that stress. It might make them more anxious if they don't know [why they have to eliminate an activity], because they have running through their heads any number of different, terrible scenarios," she says. Also, being honest with your children about financial pressures teaches them that money is not an endless resource, Boyd-Soisson says.
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