When we were kids we didn’t have so many toys and resources and yet we were so happy. Today’s kids have plenty many toys and still they always look dissatisfied with their lot. They always keep on demanding something more.
My son had turned 11. He had many toy guns. But now he wanted to own a Nerf gun. I knew that his enthusiasm for any new toy including this Nerf gun would remain for 2-3 days and then the toy would lie in some forgotten corner of the house for ages. So I was not very keen on buying the same. My past experience had taught me that outright denial leads to lot of dissatisfaction and opens up endless string of arguments. I wanted to avoid this scene but at the same time I wanted my son to understand the value money.
But how to do it?? It was easily said than done. I wanted some time to think. So when my son demanded Nerf gun I just gave him non-committal answer, “Let’s see”. Thereafter I was thinking on it for couple of days. One really does not appreciate the efforts required for earning money unless he himself has earned money. Oh yes! Eureka!! I found the solution. Now I needed to talk to my son. I called him and told him.
Me: You wanted a Nerf gun right?
Me: See you already have 2-3 guns. So I don’t feel like buying another gun for you. But still if you really want Nerf gun then you can purchase it with your own hard earned money.
Son: Hard earned money? What do you mean by hard earned money??
I had to be very careful while defining this term because my son had earned decent amount of prize money. Plus he was favorite of all and used to get gift money from family and friends on various occasions.
Me: It means money earned by doing some real work. It will not include prize money or gift money that you have received.
Son: It will not include prize money or gift money?? Then how am I supposed to earn money Mamma? It’s impossible. (He looked little disheartened)
Me: That’s easy enough. I will give you a deal. If you like it then you can accept it.
My son was listening with all attention. If I had proposed something then I had to show him practical way of achieving the same also. I had found out a solution which was “Win Win” situation for me. If he would accept my proposal he would learn a new life skill which would be useful to him throughout his life and plus learn the value of money. If he would not accept my solution I would not purchase this Nerf gun also.
Stay tuned to find out what this solution was and whether my son accepted my proposal. (To be continued…)
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