Here is a funny dialogue between my daughter and I last night, she is 14, will be turning 15 in January and just a little obsessed with getting an xbox360. A little background information; she has a list of commissions, they are chores that she can do to earn money. She has a few non-negotiable chores such as keeping her room clean and feeding the pets, but all other chores are done on an as needed basis and when she has extra time. This is how she earns money, she doesn’t get a set “allowance” just for gracing us with her presence, although she would probably tell you that was enough. The conversation really began the moment she came home from school, I asked her about what she wanted to do on our next outing together, pedicure, dinner, movie, possibly check out the KC symphony, and she sat there reflecting then said, “That all sounds like fun, or how about going to Best Buy and getting a 360 and playing it together!” Later, I find her wandering around the house with a can of dusting spray, she told me she was dusting in order to make some extra money. The conversation that follows explains her motive.
Daughter) Mom, I figured it out, if I earn $5 a day I will have enough money by December to get an Xbox and 3 pink controllers, and Halo the game.
Mom) thinking for a moment, ahh that means your allowance will be like $150 a month, um, that’s not happening.
D) What! Why not mom? I will do the work…I really need to save up for this mom, I really, really want one, Bailey and Ashley have already gotten to play it.
M) Well I am sorry, you may be able to make a little more money if you baby sit some but you already have lots going on, and I thought you were saving for a car. Do you realize that you will be driving in about 15 months?
D) I know, but this is more important than a car…
M)An Xbox is more important than a car????
D) Right now it is, I am going to save for the Xbox and then a car.
M) Hmmmm, ok. (sarcastically) But come next January if you don’t have enough money saved to match us for a car then you won’t be getting one.
I also thought it was interesting how this video game things is consuming her and her friends, It is funny how they relate to boys when it comes to this. For the past few weeks she and her friends have been having long sessions in her room practicing on Halo 2, they have a plan. They want to get so good that they can beat the boys. I think it is kinda cute.
But I digress…I explained to her that although Halo 3 is probably really fun, in reality it is just a game and that her life probably won’t change if she doesn’t get it. (Doesn’t that sounds like the perfect parental unit thing to say, like something I always vowed I would never say when I became a Mom) She is determined to try and save though and I would like to see her do that, the whole blood, sweat and tears sort of thing, but I am conflicted. I would really rather her save for a car. And in reality most parents would probably do this sort of thing for Christmas, and I assume many just go out and buy it, and as much as I would like to do that, I just can’t, that would go against everything my Dad tried to instill in me. He would probably have a cow if I did that, I don’t recall us ever getting anything that expensive on a whim. Plus it is good for kids to see the value in things, it is good for her not to get one just yet. Christmas on the other hand is another story, it is a time when you can do something special for your kids that you couldn’t do without the excuse, but that is a pretty hefty gift, wouldn’t you agree?? We could combine it as a gift for all the kids and buy some little kids games, but I know that she would manipulate it and want it in her room.
So I am back to having her earn it. I am sure she would feel a great sense of accomplishment. So if you have any yard work or other things that need done send her an email, I am almost sure she would oblige. She cleans a mean bathroom and has offered to do this for anyone who needs it. I wouldn’t hire her for laundry though, it seems like she’ll go for weeks without doing laundry. I sometimes wonder if she is washing out things in her sink. I hope she will be satisfied with her purchase if/when she does make it, $500 is a lot of money…