In the age of easy credit we live in a culture that has the ability to get whatever they want whenever they want it. What happened to the old fashioned piggy bank where you saved your nickels, dimes, and quarters when you found something you really wanted. It may take weeks or months to finally save up enough money to buy that “thing”. I remember finding the frame of a go-cart in the buffalo bayou. I had always wanted a go-cart, but could not afford one. I remember cleaning it up, making a few parts, and scraping together what money I could earn to buy the parts I needed. Following months of piecing the go-cart together I remember I needed a centrifugal clutch and chain to complete the project and it cost $30.00. Without transportation I not only had to save up the money, but find a time where my parents could take me across town to the lawnmower shop where I purchased the clutch.
There is nothing better than an unmet desire to teach your kids the value of working for a dollar and patience. Inspired by YouTube my son downloaded a trial version of video editing software, Aftereffects. He really enjoyed playing with the editing software, but the trial would soon be over and the price was more than $300. Wanting to earn money we discussed various projects that he could do to earn the money. I told him that I would match whatever he earned, but it could not include allowance or birthday money. I suggested that he put flyers together to clean calcium stains that many of our neighbors have around their swimming pools. He put a really nice flyer together and offered to do free demonstrations. While housesitting he noticed the calcium stains on a neighbors tile and took the initiative to clean a small section. Upon their return he was hired to do the project. The project will cover more than the value of the software and teach a valuable lesson. Desire motivated creativity and effort to create work where he could earn money. There are lots of valuable life lessons here. Motivation, Creativity, Effort, Work, and Earning money. Many of the things our kids need to learn.
I know you love your kids and want to give them their every want. Next time they have this “thing” they can’t live without resist the temptations to buy and use it as an opportunity to teach them life lessons of patience, creativity, work, and the satisfaction of earning the money to buy that “thing”.