Like many kids, my 7-year-old wants for things — many, many expensive things I don’t necessarily have the budget or desire to purchase for him. Besides, that’s what allowances are for, right? Now if only we could reach an agreement regarding what his domestic efforts are worth …
Our latest allowance negotiation went something like this:
Me: If you can manage a few simple daily and weekly chores, you can earn a weekly allowance.
BooBoo: How much?
Me: Well, that depends on how much you do.
BooBoo: I’ll keep my room clean if you pay me $30 a week.
Me: Um, no.
BooBoo: Keeping my room clean is hard and $30 isn’t that much anyway.
As I readied myself to launch into an impassioned discussion involving the value of money, I stopped to remember who I was talking to. This was the kid who wanted to buy his teacher a gold bracelet, the kid who freely gives all his money to those collecting for a cause, the kid who thinks all I have to do is go to “that machine” to get money, never realizing I deposited it there in the first place.
And why would he? Monetary conceptualization takes time, experience, maturity, and of course, gentle and practical guidance from parents.
For fun, I asked a panel of seven kids, ages 3 to 12, to guess the prices of 10 items parents purchase every day. How do you think they did? Find out!