The Boy recently has taken to the idea that he would like certain items. Well this is not actually a new idea, but he is old enough to understand that there is value associated with something and it does not actually just fall from the sky. Previously he just assumed that Mrs. B and I were a bottomless pit of money. We would say things like you can’t swing your hockey stick in the house because you could break the TV and it wouldn’t work anymore. His typical response to this statement was something like this “That’s okay mama, we just go to Wal-Mart and get a new one”.
No to the TV.
No to the Wal-Mart.
No to swinging the stick in the house.
Recently at church, he indicated that he would like a juice box as his snack. To dissuade this, I just asked him if he had the money to pay for the juice box, which was $.50. He indicated he didn’t have any money. Although he did remind me that he swallowed a dime one time, and it came out in his poop. I asked him if he had that dime on him. He didn’t. Problem solved.
On the way home from church, the Boy asked if he could have some money…..obviously the problem wasn’t solved. Mrs. B informed the Boy that he would need to earn money if he wanted it. The whole earning thing is a bit of a stretch for his little 3 year old brain, so we started brainstorming ways he could make money. Below is a sample of that conversation.
Mrs. B: What could you do to earn money? What job could you do?
The Boy: I could play.
Mrs. B: Well I was thinking about something that would help around the house.
The Boy: I could play with my brothers.
Mrs. B: Sometime a job is something you don’t want to do.
The Boy: I could not hit my brothers, when we are playing. (Now we were getting somewhere)
Mrs. B: You know how mama and dada pick up dog poop, we don’t really want to do that but it has to be done.
The Boy: I don’t want to pick up dog poop (I don’t blame you partner). I could ride my bike.
It went on like this for the rest of the ride home (20 minutes), and the closest we got to an actual chore was picking up toys at the end of each night. Now that we have at least entered the world of chores, he as quickly realized the potential of negotiation. Now when we ask him to do something, he quickly responds with….do I get a coin. Although this is a marginally effective way to get him motivated to do things, I don’t know how comfortable I am with him associating every single task he does as a way to get money…..I would much rather he do it just because it is good for the family. Holy Crap….now I sound like Mrs. B.