Conversing with my Daughter about Money
Yesterday, I went out for an evening coffee/snack with my daughter. On our way back home, she asked me if we can window-shop at the toy store. She assured me, “just want to look at the toys and not to buy.” Her mom had already done a good job of persuading her that buying too many toys are “not good for the toys” as they will fight amongst themselves when a new toys joins them and thus reducing toy-human time.
We went into the toy store. She browse around for a while and the usual happened, she wanted one of the new toy. She didn’t do her tantrum-thingy but it was more of a pleading, “please, this is so cute and I really like it.” It went on for a while and I cave in to her actions. The toy was not even costly at all and with the discount that I asked for (the packaging was a bit torn), I was able to get it for ₹400.
As we walked along 100 feet Road in Indira Nagar, Bangalore she started a discussion;
Laaija: Why can’t we buy toys anytime we want? Dad: Because toys cost money and we cannot spend all the money on Toys. They are costly.
Laaija: Why do we need money to buy toys? Why can’t we buy it without money? Dad: That’s how it works, everything needs money. If it does not need money to buy toys, then everyone will just be going in and taking the toys home. There won’t be any toys in the store.
Laaija: Why don’t you have all the money to buy all the toys? Dad: It is hard to earn money and we cannot spend all the money we get. Now, she was totally confused.
Laaija: Why? Why is it hard to earn money? Dad: That’s how it is. Earning money is hard.
Laaija: Is it hard like climbing mountains? Dad: Yes, it is very hard like climbing big mountains. She gets some part of it, that we need to earn money to buy toys and that earning money is hard. Now, she understands why we cannot just buy toys all the time. But another problem cropped up. Now that she’s got the toy, how will she convince her mom.
Laaija: Why don’t mom like toys? Dad: She’s grown up.
Laaija: Why? I’ll always like toys, even when I grow up. Dad: Of course, you should. But mom just does not like toys anymore.
Laaija: Is mom at home? Dad: I guess so.
Laaija: What should I tell mom when she sees the toy? Dad: Tell her that you cried and so I bought you the toy. (That was bad parenting, right?)
Laaija: But I didn’t cry. Actually, I was very happy. Dad: Ok, then tell mom that you really liked the toy and asked dad to buy it.
Still on the way, her concern grew and she repeated her question five to six times on how she will talk to mom when we reached home. I let her recite and repeat, “Mom, I really like this toy and so asked dad to buy it for me. Dad loves me, so he bought it.”
As we entered, she asked me to carry the toy and said, “What if mom is not home yet?” I told her, “But she will still find out once she gets home.” We opened the door and her mom was there. She went straight for her, kissed her, told her that she love her so much and then she said that I bought her a toy that she really liked.
Her mom started her story on how old toys will not be that happy as she neglects them, now that she’s got a new toy. For now, she is fine with the idea that there won’t be new toys except on special occasions. Let’s see how this pans out.