The topic of my daughter's sixth birthday came up last night at dinner. My boyfriend and I didn't argue, we just sort of had a different perspective on the subject, and it got me thinking. She wants two big things, and money being what it is, she's probably only going to get one of them.
First, she wants a party with her friends. Cake, games, streamers, the whole thing. Actually, she was worried she wouldn't turn six if she didn't have it. We assured her she would turn six, no matter what, party or not. It's funny what kids think. She's also seen Princess Twilight Sparkle and Princess Somebody-Or-Other-Else from MLP on Tv at Build-a-Bear Workshop, and she really wants to go make those for her birthday. We can't afford to do both.
So after the kid went to bed, I said we should have her choose which to do, a party or Build-a-Bear. It made perfect sense to me. When I was growing up, my dad worked construction. Some years were rough; some years were better. Financial matters were always out on the table. Not down to the penny, of course, but the big picture stuff. My boyfriend, on the other hand, never knew his parents struggled till he grew up and went through his parents' things after he sorted their junk when he moved them into assisted living and foun ledgers and budgets. It was a big shock for him. So his thought is having our daughter choose between a party and Build-a-Bear would put too much pressure on her at her age. He thinks we should just decide for her; give her a party, save up and do Build-a-Bear at the end of the year as a surprise when she finishes kindergarten.
I'm not opposed to his solution. It's a good compromise, and we may end up doing it. But as to the bigger picture, I'm wondering if talking to kids about finances at five or six years old, and letting them help make tough choices, is such a bad thing, really. We did it as kids. I vividly remember counting coins with our dad one year because we wanted to get our mom a can of Pepsi for Christmas and put a big red bow on top, and we were three cents short for the huge red bow we wanted. Some lady in line behind us gave us three pennies, and you would have thought she'd handed us a winning lottery ticket with how happy we were. Maybe I'm rambling, but I'm interested in your thoughts.
Answer by tntmom1027 at 1:07 PM on Dec. 10, 2013
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