Last week my son got a kick-ass gift from his little cousin. A Spiderman splat ball. He thought it was the greatest thing ever. He spent the whole day throwing it against the walls, against the furniture, against the windows, against the ceiling, and watching it stick and then slowly roll down.
He would lovingly take it to the bathroom to wash it under warm water, as directed. Then wait impatiently for it to dry so that he could throw it some more.
At daycare the next day, he ran around telling everyone about his new Spiderman splat ball.
When we got home at the end of the day, he ran straight to the play room to get the ball and throw it against the walls some more. Then he threw it against his little sister’s toy kitchen. It went splat, then leaked, and went flat. It was the end of the world.
We decided that rather than just go out and buy him a new one, he would have to earn it by doing extra work around the house. This meant that we would have to make up some work for him to do that would be in addition to all of the work he is supposed to do for free. It was a lot of work to find enough work for the kid to do.
Tonight he will be wiping down all of the bottom kitchen cabinet doors and likely the ones in both bathrooms too. This will get him about fifty cents. It may not seem like much money, but you should see how over-the-top excited he is about earning some coin!
We won’t be making him earn the full amount, we don’t have the energy to come up with that much work for him to do. We’re totally going to subsidize his purchase. Once he’s close, he’ll go on a trip with daddy to the store to pick up his new splat ball.
While I’m glad we had this opportunity to teach him about money and the value of work, I’m a little concerned that we may have created a money obsessed monster. He keeps chanting, “money, money, money” and asking to count his coins.