Friday, October 21, 2011

Three Cups by Tony Townsley, Written by Mark St. Germain

Recommendation: Recommended

For his 5th birthday a young boy  received a gift his parents promised would take him on many adventures. He was a little disappointed at first, when he discovered that the gift was 3 old cups from their cupboard. This was very confusing! His parents explained that these special cups were to help him manage his allowance that he was now old enough to get. Each week his money was divided between the three cups - one for giving, one for saving and one for spending. Eventually they opened a savings account at a local bank and the boy found people to help with his giving money. He used his spending money to buy things he needed or wanted. A great way to help your kids learn about money management.

Positives: Money management is something kids need to learn so I am grateful that this topic is addressed on a child's level. The simple technique used helps kids grasp the beginning concepts of stewardship. I also loved the fact that at the end of the book the young boy, now a father himself, is passing on these lessons to his own son.

Negatives: In the Parent's Guide at the end they suggest teaching kids to tithe 10% to their local church. 10% is a great place to start, but I would always encourage my children to give and would aim to cultivate generosity in their hearts. As for the Spending account, they tell parents to have their child make a wish list. I would be careful with this and help your kids determine some upcoming things they may want (the baseball glove in the story was an excellent example). I would just be careful of teaching your kids spend their money  frivolously.

Talking Points: The Bible is full of references to money. Jesus talked about money more than he spoke about heaven. That tells us that how we use our money is a great indicator of the state of our heart. How you spend your money and the conversations you have regarding money will greatly shape your child's money management habits. Talk about giving. As I said above 10% is a great place to start but I would always encourage my children to stretch what they think are the limits of what they can give (Prov. 11:25, 22:9, I Tim. 6:18). Talk to your kids about the love of money. I Tim. 6:10 tells us that the love of money is the root of all evil. These are some very strong words. I Tim. 3:3 is also clear that church leaders are to be free of the love of money. One of our favorite Scriptures is Matt. 6:24, which tells us that we cannot serve God and wealth. As a parent, I would recommend you read The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn. This book, with Scripture, can help you train your child as they grow and mature.

Age Level: 4-8 year olds

I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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