Within the last week and a half, we’ve had several things come home for Carter to buy and even more requests to buy the latest toys. And he wants it all. It’s spurred the conversation of allowance, chores, saving money and of course need vs. want.
The first one was the book order, with several books circled that Carter just had to have. All totaling at least $150. Now we’re not lacking in books…so needless to say we don’t need the entire collection of books to make paper dolls of the Avengers.
Next, it was the school clothing. ‘Mom can I please get a muscle shirt and shorts?’ (It’s fall by the way and it’s snowing as I write this..can you guess my answer?). ‘Maybe a shirt?’ he asked… I suggested that we wait until his dad gets home to discuss it (and to be honest for me to think about how I feel about my child wearing clothing that shows where he goes to school)… ‘But it has a Pokeball!!’ he yelled while stomping to his room.
The biggest was the request to go to the Toy Store this weekend so we could buy him a nerf gun… I can literally pull out five from our downstairs toy room right now. A toy room that I am continually purging from but never seem to be making a dent.
I felt like I was channeling my mom when the conversation of money finally did happen. ‘Money doesn’t grow on trees!’ ‘You can’t always have everything that you want!’.
Of course, part of me wants to buy all our kids all of the things. Growing up my mom was a single mom and she provided for us solely on her income. I would put us in the bottom of the middle class, we never went without the necessities but there wasn’t a lot of room for extras. As Carter and Sophie have gotten older their expectations to have all of the extras has become abundant…and truthfully we need to nip it in the butt.
The decision that we came to was that he would start doing extra chores to get the things he wanted (outside of his regular expectations) and he would earn money to buy them. Did it go over well? Not so much. His response ‘But I’ve got so much stuff to get and you won’t let me get it!!!’
It’s a work in progress that’s for sure.