Wednesday, April 21, 2010

OK, Dave Ramsey, anwer me this...

So Brandon and I have taken to teaching our eldest about money. She has a list of chores that are *her* responsibility: cleaning her room, putting her toys away, throwing her dirty clothes in the hamper, brushing her teeth (and, yes, that is a chore for a three-year-old). But there are also a few chores for which she gets a quarter: setting the table, feather dusting, sweeping the patio (with mommy, of course), and throwing away diapers.

One of the thing I love about this process is that it gives me an "out" when she asks for a toy at the store. I don't have to say "no." I simply say, "Sure you can buy it, if you save enough quarters."

Sometimes she'll ask me how many quarters something costs, and if it's a number outside of her comprehension (like 23), she responds, "Woah... that's too many monies for me." End of discussion. No weeping, wailing, or gnashing of teeth. No begging, pleading, or puddles of disappointment. It's too many quarters, and that's that.

We're quite proud of this system, her father and I, as we feel it is setting her up to manage her finances for life.


Tonight we went to the store because she decided that the money in her bank was burning a hole in her pocket... or something like that. She chose five shiny quarters (about half of her supply) and clamored into the car, chattering away about all the many toys she would buy with her five quarters.

Of course, by the time we got to the store, I had explained that she probably could only get one small toy with five quarters, but she was undeterred.

Off to the dollar section of the local Target, and right to the small basket of balls. She picked out a sparkly purple ball - the kind that's filled with air and looks like a porcupine. She carried it around the store, happily taunting her sister with it for about 45 minutes.

We checked out, and she paid the cashier herself. She was thrilled to get a few "golden" coins back right before we headed to the car.

In the car. Seat belts snapped. Last-minute decision to stop and get ice cream on our way home. The perfect outing.

POW! Pshhhhhhhh...

I looked in my rear view mirror to find a purple, sparkly, porcupiney - completely deflated - former ball.

I braced myself and prepared for the wailing that would soon ensue.

No such thing.

"Aw, mooommmmmm," she said. "What happened to it?"

After a round of questions, we concluded that, in an attempt to help her sister get the toy she dropped, Chloe had put the ball between her teeth in order to free her hands. She bit a hole in the ball.

We were already halfway home, and Dave Ramsey said that kids have to learn tough lessons like these.

"Can we go back and get another one?"

What would you do, moms?

*In that moment - due to the sprinkling rain, and the fact that bed time was approaching fast - we did not turn around and get her another ball. After discussing it with my Sweet Hubby last night, we decided not to get her another one - yet. We are in the final stages of potty training, which means (cue dramatic music) no pull-ups at night! She has been doing great, but we still have some work to do. So... we have told her that if she can go two weeks without an accident, she will get a secret surprise. Guess what it will be?


Jessica Ham said...

Ack! So hard, but life lessons are called life lessons for a reason.

Recently, both the kids had $5 to spend at the Dollar Store. I took Abby one day while Jacob was at school and then Dave was going to Jacob one Saturday. So, Dave had a meeting at the church and I had to be at the church right after his meeting, so we were handing off the children. Jacob had put his $5 in his pocket. He kept pulling it out to make sure it was still there. Well, at some point he must not have put it back in his pocket good, because when he and Dave got to the store, Jacob could not find his money.
What we did...well, we went back and searched for it in case we could find it but to no avail. So, he learned a life lesson about taking care of your money and putting it somewhere safe.
He cried. We cried. But now he puts his money in his wallet so he doesn't lose it in his pocket.
Lesson learned.

DebbieP said...

In this case I might be tempted to get her another ball because she is so young. I don't know. She will learn a lesson early, though so it wouldn't be a bad thing not to go get another ball either. Boy I was a BIG help there, wasn't I!

I said all that to say that right or wrong, sometimes we show mercy with our sons, sometimes we allow them to learn the life lesson. I need grace sometimes myself!

Y'all are doing a great job starting so early with Chloe!

The Quote That Started It All...

I myself have twelve hats, each one representing a different personality. Why be just yourself? - Margaret Atwood