And so it goes, another lesson learned.
Eric has been saving his money to buy a toy. I finally had to tell him that I would no longer be "thinking up" jobs to earn his money. We have specific things you can do to earn a little extra money, and when those times come, those are when the pay out comes.
He has saved up $8.43 in the past three weeks. He works hard to earn those dollars. Today he asked if I could take him to the store to buy a toy he has been saving for. We live about a mile from this store and decided it would be a nice walk. We went out the door and I purposefully did not bring my purse or my phone.
My kids have a habit of asking me to chip in the extra money when they don't have enough for what they want. It's only ever a few coins here and there, and really they are such great kids I almost always comply. Plus they hand over all their cash and I toss my debit card down, and leave with a fistful of cash to allocate more allowance and earned income. So far this all work out well. That is until they started asking more, buying bigger items and those coins now dollars were no longer going to be offered. I had a little struggle with the boys a few weeks go over this very thing. Today I thought was a perfect opportunity with some one on one time to teach yet another lesson.
Eric found his toy on the shelf. It was $8.99. He looked at me and said, "I wish you would have brought your purse." Next he said, "can we call Papa to bring us the extra money?" For an eight year old these lessons can be learned a lot quicker if the options are all taken off the table. Realizing I did not have my phone or my purse, he shrugged his shoulders and said, "Maybe we can find some coins on the ground when we walk home. " It was very sweet to see him shuffling along, turning over sticks and stones to find a coin. He did not find anything, but some bent metal.
I appreciated his attitude as we walked home. Telling me he knows how he is going to earn the extra money, and chatting away over saving more to buy what he wants. I don't want to raise kids who have a back up plan, that involves asking mom for money. Being responsible to earn, save and then decide what to buy. These are small lessons, but very valuable long term in how earning and spending are viewed. I want to grow up responsible and fiscally responsible men. The hardest part for me, as a mom, is that Eric is such a good natured child, it's so easy to want to spoil him and fill in the gaps. We esteem value and confidence in our children we can take them through a little process like this. And so it goes, another lesson learned. And imagine how much Eric will gain when he earns a bit more and can buy exactly what he wants.