It’s the sweetest picture ever. The sweetest! Well not the picture itself. Truthfully it doesn’t show much. It’s kind of boring and out of focus. But look closely. You see that in the middle? That’s my daughter counting out cash to buy a toy at Target. Her Own Cash. My kid saved up her own money and used it to buy her own toy. THIS is a victory. Why did it take so long…
Truthfully a lot of the fault is ours. All of us. We want our kids to have everything… everything we didn’t have. We buy and charge and debit and buy and charge and debit so they can have the toys they want and the parties they want and the extra curricular activities with all the matching uniforms and gear and practice equipment they want. Well screw it.
If it’s so important to them, then why shouldn’t they learn about saving and sacrifice and financial responsibility to be able to help buy some of the things they so desperately want. WHY should we buy it all. And WHERE does it say in the parenting manual (non existent book) that kids are entitled to parents who buy everything. I’m done. Today we helped rewrite the book.
Why not. When I was a kid I worked at a deli for four bucks an hour. I babysat and mowed lawns too. My dad made a deal with me. I kept a quarter of whatever I made and the rest went in the bank for college. I hated that deal. I hated handing over three quarters of everything I earned. But I did it. The rest was mine to spend on whatever I wanted (within reason).
Fast forward to today. So my kid wanted a toy at Target. Fine. She’s been asking for a couple of weeks. We told her to use her own money. Both these kids usually look like loan sharks rolling out a fistful of dollar bills they saved from presents or allowance or whatever… so why shouldn’t they use them. Our 6 year old went to Target today and got the My Little Pony whatever whatever she wanted and she priced it out and she went to the cash register. The lady gave us the annoyed look because our gal sat there and painstakingly take out each dollar from her change purse and count out that money. But she did. Dollar by dollar she parted with her own cash. Dollar by dollar she counted it out. And then she handed the money to the clerk… and the clerk handed over the toy. And it was parent magic.
And I left Target with my wallet full. My wife and I left Target WITHOUT spending a dime. And I loved it. And I don’t feel guilty one stinkin’ bit.