There are so many different parenting philosophies out there as to boggle the mind when trying to figure out what is the best one to apply to your own children. There is always this fear that if you pick the wrong one you will be responsible for completely ruining your children and turning them into society’s great menace. (shudder…)
Well, Tim and I have come to the conclusion that when it comes to teaching our children the value of a dollar or the value of a toy, it is better for them to learn through hard work. Like most parents, we would love to give our children everything their greedy little hearts could desire, but we don’t because of two reasons – we can’t afford it and we want our boys to appreciate what they have.
Although Tim and I think very similarly on this topic, we actually had very diverse childhoods. I was homeschooled from K-12th grade while Tim attended public schools. While being taught school at home, I was subjected more to the day-to-day running of a household and given more opportunities for entrepreneurship. If I wanted to attend a music camp or summer Bible camp, I had to work and save money. I did this by cleaning homes with my siblings and mom as young as 12 or 13 years old. Then I began a baking business and sold homemade cakes and candies.
Any time I had to pay for my own things, I learned to appreciate them all the more because I knew exactly how much work went into acquiring them. This is what we desire for our boys! We want them to appreciate all that they have and are given and to NEVER just expect things to be handed to them just because they want them.
Now that E is almost five years old and really getting a grasp on the “gimmes,” we thought it was time to give him a goal and to teach him about saving his money. He has been wanting a certain Buzz Lightyear toy for a while and always asks if he can go look at it when we are at the store. He would beg and beg us to buy it for him every time until he finally understood us when we said, “Sure, we would love for you to have that toy, but you are going to have to pay for it yourself.”
He now has his chore chart hung up on the refrigerator next to a chart showing his $40 goal. Every time he earns another dollar, he colors in a space. Every extra little job he helps with around the house earns him an extra 5, 10, 25 or 50 cents. He is so excited about working to save up for his toy that he has been begging us to WORK (notice the change in what he’s begging us for!). I love his latest quote he likes to say to me during the day, “Mama, I’m going to be a good boy and help around the house so you’ll want to hire me for a job.” 🙂
It’s going to take him a while to earn that $40, but he’s also planning on saving any Christmas or birthday money to help. His out-of-state grandma also likes to mail him a dollar every month with a little note encouraging him. 🙂 I’m just proud of my little man for following in his papa’s footsteps in being a joyful hard worker who loves to save.