Teaching Your Kids To Buy Their Own Toys

xwing fighter legoI had a pleasant surprise when I checked my lotto ticket this week: I won $20!

I checked it at the grocery store when Zacharie was with me doing the shopping. I handed the winnings to to my 5 year old and told him to put it in his piggy bank.

Our boys are very proud of their piggy banks. They each have one that gets stuffed with birthday money and random coins when we empty our pockets at the end of a day out.

The idea is to save it up and then each year, on their birthday, dump it out and add the $50 or $100 or whatever it is to their college fund. But, every now and again, we let them raid it for something they really want.

A couple of days after the lucky lottery win, we were back at the grocery store. My son ran over to the toy aisle and started playing with the toys. This usually happens for 5 or so minutes on every visit, and then he runs over to show what a big boy he is by grabbing the gallon of milk for me. This time, however, he lingered a little longer with an X-Wing Fighter Star Wars Lego kit.

Often there is whining of “I want it” that I will dismiss quickly. This time when he asked if he could have it, I reminded him of the $20 that he received this week and asked him to think if it was a good way to spend his money. (I relented because I hadn’t seen this particular kit before, and he’s been obsessing over X-Wing Fighters lately, so it wasn’t just a throw away, but a legit thing he wanted.)

He thought about it for a moment and then became upset because the money was back at home and he didn’t bring it. “That’s okay,” I said. “I’ll buy it and you can pay me back when we get home.”

“Alright!” he clapped.

We bought it, and then the moment we got home I reminded him he owed me the $20. I grabbed the key for his piggy bank, opened it, and he handed over the bill. Then, as dinner cooked, we sat at the kitchen table and made the model. We have been doing a lot of these mini Lego builds lately, it’s a great way to work on his fine motor skills (something he needs some work on for school).

A lesson on cost-benefit. A lesson on saving. Some practice with the fingers. Some time spent with Dad building something you can be proud of.

Best day ever.

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Image via Buzz Bishop. No use without permission.

Article Posted 3 years Ago
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