5 dumb ways to spend money on your kids .
Every parent is probably guilty of giving in to their kids when it comes to spending money.
Whether it's buying a candy bar at the checkout counter or sending a well-timed check to cover the wedding caterer, the impulse to spend money to make kids happy is a natural reaction, says Chicago-based CFP Leisa Brown Aiken.
"Parents want their kids to be happy," Aiken says. "And they're really good making you feel like if they don't get it, they're going to be unhappy and you're a terrible parent."
But giving in to those impulses can have serious financial consequences, says Joan Koonce, a professor and financial planning specialist at the University of Georgia.
"Parents are trying to provide (kids) with these things, and sometimes it's a bad situation because they really can't afford it," she says.
Worse, it creates a pattern that repeats itself with ever higher stakes, as children get older, for parents as well as the children. "When they leave their parents' household for the first time, many of them end up in a lot of debt," Koonce says.
Here are some dumb financial moves that children commonly demand and how to push back.