I overhead a conversation between a parent and her son while hanging out with the kids at the Museum last week.
The mother had given her daughter and friends money to buy pop and popcorn. Shortly after her son came in and found out mom had bought the treats. He had gone on his own accord and bought himself a pop. He commented that it wasn't fair that mom bought the treats and he paid for his own. Mom simply responded that he did not have to worry about it and that his sister and her friends did not have money with her so she had to buy them. He was still protesting and mom again simply said he did not need to worry.
I am not sure what the meaning of that was but am just guessing that mom will either pay him back or that she will give him money when he needs it. It was what the boy said next to his friend that got me. He said "Did you see that, she bought them a pop and I had to buy my own. That is like if she were to buy her a house and then not buy me one! "
Wow, um how did we jump from pop to buying houses??? I am sure most of you have noticed that there are some spoiled children out there and no matter what we do sometimes kids just act this way. Our children have access to things we never dreamed of growing up. Internet that allows us to find what we need at our fingertips, drive-thru banking and pharmacies, online bill payment, and the list goes on and on. People have gotten used to not having to wait and it seems we live in an instant gratification society.
Is it possible to raise children in this fast paced society that don't expect everything to just be handed to them?? I personally would like to think so and have tried to instill these values with my own children.
Just the other day we discussed with our son that when he was going to the $ store to spend some of his money he should buy himself another pencil sharpener as we had already replaced it a couple times. We felt he should take the responsibility for buying it and (hopefully) not loosing it. When he was done and got his change back he said that he would like to put some in his save, spend and share jars. He then asked a very what the save jar was for and I reminded him that it was to save so that when he wanted to purchase something. He then suggested that he could also put some of that money aside for school when he is older (keep in mind he will be turning 10 in April). So yes, I said that we do indeed have an account for that and if he would like he can put some money in. Talk about a proud Mommy moment! We leave it up to him to decide where to put his money and he does a fairly decent job of splitting it.
We also let him learn lessons on his own. He had decided a while ago to save up money for a new Beyblade stadium to replace his as it was broken. Well, in true child fashion once we got to the store he of course saw an *awesome* one that even came with Beyblades and different colored pieces to change out in the stadium. Never mind that he already owns plenty of the Beyblades and that this set cost over double what he would need to spend for just the regular plain stadium. He had the money so I allowed him to purchase the item and then waited once we got home to see the reaction. It only took a couple of hours before he decided that yes indeed the stadium was not any better than the plain one and he really didn't need the Beyblades. Lesson learned we headed back to the store the next day to return it and buy the cheaper one.
So what tips do you have for raising children in our fast paced society? Do you let your kids manage some spending money, do you pay it in exchange for chores, How many extracurricular activities do your kids take part in? I would love to hear your experiences!