On our recent trip to Knotts Berry Farm, my son, Andrew, decided he wanted to spend his 20 bucks on a piece of crap gun.
I tried to talk him out of it.
“Baby, there’s nothing special about that gun and I promise you it will break before the week is over. Save your money for something you really want!”
Of course, he didn’t listen to me. I could have flat out told him “NO!” but it was his money he got for his birthday, so I let him make his own decision.
I was right. The piece of crap gun fell apart the first time he used it after we got home.
I did the whole “I TOLD YOU SO” speech, but in a loving way. I wanted my son to understand that when I tell him things, it’s not because I’m “mean” but because I have his best interests at heart.
“Mom told you not to be that because I KNEW it was a waste of money and I was right, wasn’t I?”
“Yes, mom, you were. You should have FORBID me to buy it! Next time, take my money away and don’t let me buy it!”
“No. I want you to learn to listen to what I have to say, to trust what I’m saying is coming from a place of love and concern and make the choice to listen to me.”
I then told him since we had spent ten dollars on a toy for his brother, and since he had learned a lesson, I would give him half of the money he spent back, but it would have to go into his savings account. I also told him not to feel bad about buying it, but instead, to learn from it.
“We’ve all made mistakes when it comes to money. Trust me, I’ve bought things that I thought I had to have, but turned out to be a complete waste of money.”
This was one of the greatest conversations I’d ever had with my son. Then Tony showed up and butted in.
Tony was WAY TO HAPPY to give Andrew an example of a time that I had “made a bad choice with money.”
“Yeah! She’s right! Like the time she spent ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS ON A PIECE OF RUBBER!
Read it. I’ll wait.
(For the record :I will NEVER live that down, as long as I live. I once tried to get rid of that thing on Christmas in one of those “elephant gift” exchanges and the person who ended up with it left it on top of our car when he left because it’s THAT STUPID.)
Thanks for “going there” Tony. Now anytime I want to talk to my son about spending money wisely, all he has to do is yell “PIECE OF RUBBER!” and I’ll have to shutup and hang my head in shame.