A person's relationship with money is formed from early childhood. Moreover, it is sometimes surprising how certain attitudes about the money we received in childhood respond in adulthood.
Banki.ru asked psychologist Sergei Fedorov, a full member of the Professional Psychotherapeutic League (PPL), to comment on several typical personal stories of childhood grievances that grew out of financial habits.
Money plays many different roles in our world. “In addition to the means of exchange of values, they often serve the function of power, control, security and many other purely psychological phenomena,” says Fedorov. - Money itself is rarely the main character. They only show well what is not so noticeable in other situations."
"It is dangerous to have your own"
Rita A., 44 years old: “I was four years old when I received my first pocket money - two rubles! It was a fortune. It is interesting that I did not have a desire to immediately put them on ice cream and dolls. I mentally drew pictures of how I would save up a lot of money, I would be well-off and independent, I would help my parents. But a common, in general, undertaking to save money for the future was nipped in the bud by my mother.
About a week after the first receipt of money in my "bank" we went to a children's toy store. On the shelf was a completely charming dog - white with a brown ear. For almost the first time in my life, I began to ask to buy me a toy. And in response I heard the unexpected: "You have money - so buy with yours!" Leaving the store without a dog seemed inconceivable, I had to spend all my stash. For the rest of my life, I retained a grudge against my mother because she refused to buy me a toy. And never in the next 40 years have I been able to accumulate any significant amount of money. I have lived in debt all my life."
Try to put yourself in the shoes of a little girl. After all, four years is not yet the age when a child is able to separate himself from his parents. This happens much later. The words “I will help my parents” are very indicative. While the child dreams of becoming even better for his beloved mom and dad. Mom's proposal, which is very reasonable for a student, most likely caused a strong anxiety in the baby, which is forced to separate and make adult decisions ahead of time.
An interesting fact: an adult woman lives on debt. The presence of this debt is a metaphorical connection with the creditor, but in fact with the mother. It seems that in that store the girl made a decision: "It is dangerous to have your own - for this they are deprived of the relationship." That is, if you have saved up a lot of money, you cannot turn to other people “for a charming dog”.
I think that, having dealt with this situation, the children's solution could be changed to something more suitable. For example, have your own and not lose a relationship.
Rebuff the pope - "racketeer"
Natalya B., 35 years old: “In high school, I faced a real parental“racketeering”: my mother gave me money for lunch and pocket money, and my father secretly took it away, and told my mother not to say anything and promised to return it from my salary. At first I believed that I would return, then I was offended that I had cheated. And then I found a way out - I began to give him money at interest: I took 500 rubles - return a thousand, otherwise you won't get it next time. If you did not return it on time, you will give it 2,000 instead of 500 rubles. So I gradually weaned him to encroach on my money, and at the same time I myself learned to count and multiply it.
Now I can safely call myself not just a financially literate person, but a major expert on how to save money without denying myself anything. For example, I live on a credit card, without paying interest: I return the entire amount from my salary, keeping within the grace period, and my own money, meanwhile, is working - I put it at a good percentage in the bank."
- You can easily guess that dad took money for something illegal. My daughter found herself in a difficult situation: on the one hand, there was a mother who did not know anything, and on the other, a dependent father. In such families, children often work as intermediaries. I can't believe that mom really didn't know what was happening, but in the girl's picture of the world, she was the only one who decided how much money and on what conditions to give dad. For the psyche, such a situation is extremely traumatic - a weak and begging male figure, causing pity and contempt, a fencing off mother, shifting the function of an adult woman onto the growing daughter. The girl found an original way out - to make money on this situation, but at the same time she “lost” her father. So she learned to use any situation for her own purposes.
Apparently, this model of financial education really taught a person to manage money. A credit card replaced the previous source of income (pocket money from mom), a bank deposit appeared "instead of" dad, on which he managed to earn.
"Mom is smarter!"
Sasha T., 17 years old: “I was seven years old when I first went to the store on my own. Mom gave me 500 rubles and told me to buy milk and bread. I was terribly proud to be so independent now. Being in euphoria, I, of course, did not count my change. When I came home, it turned out that the cashier in the store hadn't given me 200 rubles. I saw how upset my mother was - not because of the money, but because I was so helpless and irresponsible. Feelings of guilt and complexes about this do not leave me even now. But I still don’t consider change in principle: they want to cash in on my expense - let that kind of money not be used for future use”.
- Seven years is a great age to learn how to do adult things and help parents. But there is a subtlety - experience does not appear by itself. The boy did not have enough support from his mother. As a result, he remembered that he was "disorderly". Instead of a “silent reproach,” one could go to the store together and show the son how to solve such problems: politely but firmly demand an account from the cashier who deceived him.
Learned from childhood, and even against the background of a strong emotional uplift, strongly affects a person. Growing up, he may still unconsciously try to do everything to confirm the childish attitude (after all, "mom is always right") that he is helpless and careless. The young man is motivated by the fear of facing the same disappointed mother's gaze and therefore, in principle, does not take on cases where it is necessary to count money, check what has been done, control and make claims. He can suddenly lose money, misjudge his capabilities, "get paid", take bad loans. The good news is that a grown man now has a lot more resources to change his mindset and take control of his finances.
"I washed the dishes - get 100 rubles"
Kirill A., 28 years old: “As a child I was a rare sloven, I did not study well, did nothing around the house. To enlighten me and teach me to be in order, my mother introduced a system of monetary rewards and fines: washed the dishes - get 100 rubles, got a deuce - minus 200 rubles. The idea was probably not bad, but, alas, it did not work. Perhaps the "price tag" was wrong: I had a lot of twos and absenteeism, and I very quickly went "into the minus", even doing my household chores to the maximum. And soon I again stopped washing floors and going to the store, realizing the economic inefficiency of such a system.I don’t remember that I then took offense at my mother for her “commercialism”, but the habit of thinking “what will happen to me for this?”, When my wife asks me to help around the house, remained.
- Children are designed to grow and develop, actively "absorbing" everything they see. First of all, of course, by copying the parents. If a child is a "gouge", then he clearly did not come up with it himself. Someone called him that. Someone the child trusts unconditionally. I have not met children who would have glued such labels to themselves.
Probably, the upbringing in the family was based on compulsion to work with the help of shame. In this case, a paradoxical situation may develop: a child, in order to be accepted by his parents, must correspond to the “assigned” role to him. For example, avoiding household chores and acting as a “valve” to drain tension in the family.
When parents try to replace the internal desire to help, to be part of the family, with external motivation (money), the situation is aggravated. The message “we do not believe that you yourself can want to help” is reinforced.
A teenager, feeling false, may subconsciously give up external motivation in an attempt to maintain his independence. It can be assumed that the approach adopted in such a family will foster either an eternal search for an external source of motivation (money, sex, praise) for bargaining, or will lead to the opposite effect - contempt for external resources and ostentatious "hermitage".
Violetta, 41 years old: “All my childhood I heard that there is no money in the family, there is nothing to spend it on nonsense -“Why do you need the second shoes, you will manage with one”. Probably, there really was not enough money, but, in addition to this, my parents literally cultivated and nurtured in me a complex of a beggar woman and a ragamuffin, forcing me to save on everything. I have never received toys as a gift - only the necessary clothes or shoes. I was never taken to a cafe, not taken to resorts. I even bought my first jeans only for my eighteenth birthday. For many years later I could not get rid of the cult of poverty imposed on me, although I perfectly remembered the saying: "We are not rich enough to buy cheap things." In the store I always chose the cheapest: food, clothes, furniture, and appliances. And this despite the fact that since the age of twenty I have been earning above average. I got rid of the desire to "save on pins" only after visiting a psychologist."
- The parental message "no money" can carry completely different meanings. Oddly enough, this may not have anything to do with money itself. When a child hears “you’ll get by”, he realizes that he is not valuable. So, not beloved.
One of the possible explanations is that the family does not know how to refuse correctly. It is difficult for parents to say “no” to their daughter at her request to buy a doll or a skirt, to withstand her resentment or anger about this. And then "unkillable" external arguments come into play: "no money", "no time".
There is nothing wrong with the ability to limit yourself and save money. It’s bad that the message “money is more important than you” lives in my head. Growing up, such children can either save all the time, or constantly lose money, or spend it on others, such as children or business. Without the help of a specialist, there is a great risk of living life, considering oneself "not valuable", living in eternal prohibitions on pleasures and in resentment against parents for this.
Collected stories by Polina PARKER, especially for Banki.ru