Sometimes the best-laid plans will fail and it’s okay. I will always choose for my children to have a childhood over insisting on teaching them a money lesson. Financial literacy is not a race. It is a journey of lifetime learning. There is not a test that I or my children have to pass. As long as I constantly expose my children to money lessons, I know I don’t need to follow any rigid plans. In fact, sometimes it’s okay to ignore the rules.
So what happened today?
The slurpee questIn one of my posts, I wrote about curbing my children’s pester power by asking my children to help me save up for my savings goal. That plan worked very well for a few months. But alas, after almost 3 months of success, today my youngest asked me for a slurpee. It has been his treat for his belt promotions for as long as he has been doing martial arts. A week ago, he was promoted to a higher belt and did not get his slurpee, so today he asked for it.
I tried to reason with him that it’s really just pure sugar and ice that he’s feeding his body. He didn’t care. I reminded him that he’s helping me save for my camping trip. He didn’t want to help today. I negotiated with him that we could go somewhere else to get frozen coke at half price. He didn’t want the frozen coke flavours, he wanted the slurpee flavours. I could see him getting annoyed at my reluctance to hand over the money. I understood his frustration – after all, it is a reward he’s always received for being promoted to a higher belt and this should be no different.
So why did I hold back and not let him have his reward?
It’s all in the negotiation!
Well, he conveniently ‘forgot’ to tell me that he had in fact gotten a frozen coke on the day he was promoted (my DH told me this). So when I revealed that I knew he’d already received his frozen coke that day, he was not impressed. He then convinced me that it wasn’t the same because the frozen coke wasn’t the flavour that he always got and so he didn’t really get his usual reward (he wanted lemonade and raspberry but the store only had frozen coke). It didn’t matter that he didn’t refuse the frozen coke a week ago. It only matters that the flavours weren’t what he always had.
If you’ve read my other posts, you would have come across my comments about my youngest son having the knack of convincing me. The mother in me was annoyed, but the debater in me was really proud of this 6 year old’s reasoning skills – I really can’t fault that kind of reasoning. I set out to improve his financial literacy, but sometimes the lesson isn’t all about financial literacy. In this instance, it’s about negotiation skills!
So, with pride, I finally gave him the money to buy the slurpee he wanted.