It's never easy to say no to your child when they want something. But children need to learn the difference between a "want" and a "need" and how to earn the things they want.
|Don't let a whining child guilt you into something you cannot afford|
Sometimes as parents we have to say "No, I'm sorry, we cannot afford that." Being open and honest with your children about your family's finances helps them understand why you are saying no. You need to reach your children on an age-appropriate level. The older your children get, in my opinion, the more honest you should be about how much money comes into your home each month and how much goes out. If your child can understand what their parents earn, what the household expenses are, how you balance your household budget the less likely they are to fall into debt when they move out and live on their own.
As your children get older take the time to explain the taxes that come out of your weekly (or bi-weekly) paycheck. Teach your child how to work and earn and save for that special item they may want, but not need.
Remember, the example you set as a parent is the most important standard by which your child will follow. In a world where the United States government cannot balance its own budget without raising taxes or cutting services, children need to learn that there is only so much you can do with the money you earn.