My second son tried out basketball with some neighbourhood friends last week and oh boy, he was hooked when he managed to shoot 2 goals. He came home letting us know that he wanted a basketball.
I was inclined to make him wait. I didn’t want to promote this instant gratification thing in our family whereby a child asks for something and he gets it that day. I told him we could get him a basketball but only after daddy’s pay check comes in at the end of this month (which was 26 days away).
So 2 days passed and he was still bugging us for a new basketball. We tried to explain to him how we have already spent on his and his brothers’ rollerblades this month and that anything else he wants will have to wait till the next pay check. Kids being kids, waiting is not their thing and neither is it my son’s thing.
My husband and I decided to tell him that, look, mummy and daddy do not have enough to buy a basketball for you. BUT you can use your own savings to buy if you have enough. He immediately told us he had $17 in his piggy bank. We said okay we can go and have a look, if it costs less than that, you can buy your own basketball, if not, you will have to wait.
We then went to the store the next day, and to his luck, the ball only cost $9.90. So he got his ball.
Through this interaction, we have taught our 6-year-old that we can only spend within our means. I hope he has learnt the importance of waiting and the importance of not borrowing just to spend on something he wants.