Your child has caught some bug that’s going around.

He has a terminal case of The Gimmes, and he’s not getting any better. It’s “Gimme that” and “Buy me this” all day long. It’s GimmeGimmeGimme, usually accompanied by whining, pleading, and a maddening inability to understand the word “no.”

The Gimmes are enough to make any parent crazy. They make you wish there was some sort of doctor who had some sort of shot to prevent it. But there isn’t — so why not read “Do I Look Like an ATM?” by Sabrina Lamb instead?

Somewhere in your home, there lives a little beggar who can’t take “no” for an answer. He’s always got his hand out and he knows exactly how to wear you down when it comes to money. If you had a dime for every dollar he’s asked for, you’d be rich.

So how did this happen? Sabrina Lamb says that your child was born to beg, which is a situation you need to stop. Avoiding the issue (or worse: giving in) can result in big problems now and even bigger problems in the future.

But first, the stats: members of the black community have an estimated $1.1 trillion dollars to spend — and yet, many report having no savings, most don’t know their credit score, and 40 percent have little or nothing for retirement. Furthermore, “African-Americans tend to wield their tremendous buying power on products with little or zero monetary value.” That means rented homes, expensive vehicles, and fancy phones take money out of your pocket but don’t put it back.

The first step to fixing that situation is by looking inward. Chances are that you never learned financial literacy and your attitudes toward wealth may be limiting your ability to understand money issues. Just giving yourself an education on finances presents a good example for your kids.

Speak your financial truth and tell your child. Understand the difference between “need” and “want” and teach your child that looking financially successful is not the same as being financially successful. Forget about keeping up with your neighbors. Identify your parental money style. Set your family up as a business, show your kids how to save — and then show them how to give, too.

Wow. I was so impressed at what I found inside “Do I Look Like an ATM?” that I was uncharacteristically speechless.

When it comes to financial literacy for children, so many authors take mincing baby-steps and waste everybody’s time, but not founder Sabrina Lamb. She takes a different approach that starts with parents, and she’s not gentle with her words. No, Lamb’s a little sarcastic and very in-your-face, but her boot-camp-like attitude left no doubt in my mind that what she says, works.

I like that no-nonsense talk and I think you will, too — especially if you’re serious about money matters. If talking about dollars to your kids just makes sense, then “Do I Look Like An ATM?” would be a shot in the arm to your family’s finances.

Terri Schlichenmeyer has been reading since she was 3, and she never goes anywhere without a book. She lives on a hill in Wisconsin with two dogs and 11,000 books.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.