I have raised him to learn about money as a useful resource. It is neither good nor evil, but a way to get things he wants in life. He is given a small amount of allowance each week, and has the opportunity to earn more money through chores and projects. We have lots of discussions about saving up for larger items, and making good choices in the type and quality of things he buys. He knows to be careful when buying online and how to check out a seller’s reputation.
Just like me at times, he is still given to impulsive buys and decisions that don’t align with his long term goals. He came to me after an outing yesterday where he felt he had been “stupid” and wasted money he had just worked hard to earn. A little later, he asked if he could write about the experience for my Blog. He doesn’t usually like to write, and so I was thrilled to see him taking this negative situation and making it into a positive lesson to share with others.
Without further ado, I present my dear son, (and very first guest blogger):
Hello there! Now in case you are wondering, I am not Rebecca. I am her son, Aidan. You may remember me from some of my mom’s posts about parenting and talking to teens. If you are wondering why it’s me and not Rebecca writing, it’s because there was a personal experience that I faced yesterday that I couldn’t keep to myself. So let’s stop rambling and start at the beginning (as opposed to the middle).
So I was taking a walk to the mall, since I am a typical teenager that can’t stay at home for 5 seconds. I enjoyed the trip there as I stopped at a store called Five Below and ate some Pop Rocks. As I got to the mall, I explored for a little bit until I noticed a machine sitting against a wall towards the exit. I walked up to it since I could see on the side it read, “WIN A FREE iPHONE 6!”
Of course, since I am attracted to free stuff I walked up to it to see what it was all about. How the machine works is you insert a dollar, then use a joystick and a button to aim a plastic key into a hole. The key then turns, releasing the item you were aiming for. This sounds pretty easy. But if you were to describe brain surgery as “fix the squishy brain thing” that wouldn’t sound hard at all, either.
Unfortunately, the game is harder than trying to juggle axes while wearing a strait jacket. But that feeling of wining an iPhone 6 or a PlayStation 4 felt worth it. Attempt after attempt I kept trying because the feeling was too strong. I then ended up spending $9 on that game.
That money could have been used for many other things. I could have gotten a one dollar drink at McDonald’s, bought a poster, a CD, a video game — so many things just thrown away. I was angered about how tricked I felt. I just wanted to destroy the machine with a baseball bat. I then called my mom to pick me up and went home in shame.
Luckily I can earn back the money easily and it was only $9. And now I know not to trust things that say you can win a free iPhone 6. So to all parents: if your kids want money to try one of these games, show them this post.”