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On being the Anti-Mom

Fjord Sign

This picture is a notice which my 6-year-old son Fjord created and hung on his door before closing himself off from me.  What did I do to provoke his ire and rejection?  Well I stopped him from spending his own money, accumulated monetary gifts and pocket-money, kept in the safe.  You may think I’m mean too.

He had a dream about Cable Command Meccano and was not so quietly obsessed with adding it to his Meccano collection.  The thing is, he has lots of Meccano and as of now has only built 4 of the 40 model set from Father Christmas.  I want to teach him to enjoy what he has before getting more.  If he doesn’t, his possessions lose value, of course this is not a fun lesson when you are 6.

Actually I didn’t rule out the proposed purchase completely.  I said that I would take him to the toy shop to look at all the toys and what they cost.  He could then go home and think about it, if he still really wanted to buy, he could go back with Cliff and take his wallet.  His ultimatum before closing the door on me was “We go with my money or we don’t go at all”.  I replied “Ok, we don’t go.”

Maybe I’m the Anti-Mom but as a parent I feel that there are lessons which children must learn.  They must learn not to act on impulse.  They must learn to save and consider their purchases before spending, and sadly they must learn that you don’t always get what you want.

Today’s financial world is all smoke and mirrors.  Credit allows people to live on what is not real.  The world is currently precariously balanced, there will be a calamitous fall and when that happens who knows if all the kings horses and all the kings men will ever get it together again.  At his age credit is not an issue but he must learn the value of real money.

In the end Fjord forgave me, we went to the toy shop sans cash and he realized that he does not yet have enough money to get what he wants.  Maybe by the time he has saved more he will have changed his mind, in the mean time he is building the 5th model of the 40 model Meccano set.

5 comments

  1. Sometimes tough love is what’s needed 🙂

  2. You are quite right. Giving in too easily can do incredible harm later on. I only have one daughter and wanted “to give her everything I never had”. Even in the toughest times she never came short of anything. Today I am bearing the fruit of that. She is 33 already and I never stop giving. Even though she has a job, she is still not self sufficient. I should have focused more on teaching her financial discipline.

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