The older child LOVE’s My Little Pony. For Easter I bought them each, the older and the younger one a large stuffed My Little Pony. They each got a pony and a package of Play Dough, considering the ponies were $20 a piece I’d say it was a pretty awesome gift. The older one got an Apple Jack and the younger a Fluttershy. The younger one at that time didn’t really care about ponies, only slightly into them because big sister thinks they are awesome. I bought the younger one the least liked pony of the older one in the hope that this would stop any “I want Fluttershy!” issues.
Hahahahahaha! Nice try mom, but it was a failure none the less. I then spent the next month hearing “You go to the pony store and buy me a Fluttershy.”
After awhile that started to royally piss me off, like well aren’t you just little miss entitled. This also came after a series of broken toys that ended in “You go to the X store and buy me X toy [I just broke].”
Oh…child, we’re going to learn about money and that you have to work for money to buy things you want.
I started giving her tasks to do to earn quarters. She’s 3 so it’s not like I can send her out to mow the lawn however, that would be awesome if I could. She got tasks of sorting the flatware from the dishwasher. It pays a quarter. Moving the laundry from the washer to the dryer, that also pays a quarter. The best paying job of them all is when I need the little one out of my hair for a bit and then I’ll say “I’ll give you a dollar if you entertain Babes for 30 minutes.” To be honest, I very rarely have to pay out that dollar, she never makes it the full amount of time.
The younger one realized that the older one was getting money, and she also wanted money. Amazingly the younger one is better at staying on task than the older one but is quite limited in their ability of jobs they can actually do. I can get the younger one to transfer laundry quite well, but I have to supervise closely or half the laundry gets dragged across the dirty laundry room floor on the way to the dryer. I figure that’s worth a quarter.
I also started giving them a weekly allowance, it’s a dollar a week. It’s so funny and cute because I will ask them if they want their allowance for the week the little one who does not speak will come running up and stick her hand out. Once she gets the dollar she has to run upstairs and then points and grunts to where her money jar is located. We get the jar down she take it, stuffs her dollar in, then hands the jar back and points back on the shelf. That’s her way of saying “put it back.”
The earning money thing has ended the whole “You go to the store and buy me [insert random item].” Now when I hear that I tell them, i can take you to the store and you can buy it with your own money you earned.” She will stop and think for a minute and then say, “No, I think I want a pony still.” Success!
It’s also had the added benefit of math, because now I have to sit around and explain to them fractions. For some reason money seems to be easier for them to grasp than baking.
This earning money thing has also helped in getting the child to understand when mommy has to work at night (since I work at home) and why daddy has to go away each day, “to earn money, so we can afford stuff, like a house.”