As the mother of two boys I’m really trying my best to help them become good people. I don’t care if they end up famous or talented or rich (although that would be nice). I just truly want them to go out into the world as kind, empathetic humans who are respectful and responsible.
This past weekend my husband and I started talking to the boys about money. Nothing crazy, they are only 10 and 11 after all, but just in general having conversations about how they can earn money doing chores around the house. Money that can then be spent at their discretion on toys or treats or experiences. We don’t want them to take the things they have for granted and we want them to take pride in saving up to reach their goals. We got them these kid debit cards so they can track their earnings and savings. Overall we simply wanted to make them aware of the cost of things they frequently ask us for and give them an opportunity to save up for any specifically desired item.
A few hours after our family discussion my 11 year old son approached me with a question that tied in nicely with the topic of the day: Earning money to pay for things you “want” but don’t “need.”
Ah! I was excited! THIS was the EXACT thing I was attempting to teach him this morning! I took the opportunity to reiterate the lesson that you can’t always get what you want.
Here’s how that went…
Carter: “Mom, can I have some shoes?”
Carter: “Why not?”
(This was my chance to drive home the lesson! He had just received TWO pairs of new shoes for Christmas. This was definitely NOT a need!)
Me: “You can’t ask for things and expect me to just GIVE them to you! It’s RIDICULOUS that you would even ask after we JUST talked about this! You have to earn things! Save up your money! Do chores! You don’t just get whatever you want whenever you want it!”
(At this point he had a very confused look on his face. I don’t think this was where he expected the conversation to go. He started getting visibly annoyed with me.)
Carter: “Oh my God! WHAT?!?!? What are you even talking about!”
Me: “I’m giving you a life lesson! What are YOU talking about?”
Carter: “I ASKED YOU IF I COULD HAVE SOME JUICE!”
Me: “Oh. Juice? Yeah you can have some juice.”
(Whoops! I guess my life lesson is to listen a little harder when my kids are speaking to me!)