Friday, September 16, 2016

Feed 'Em When They're Hungry: Finances for the 4 year old

One time recently in Relief Society, a sister mentioned the quote, "feed 'em when they're hungry." I loved it when I first heard it and still love it today! I pretty sure it applies to way more than just food.
Listen when they talk
Answer when they ask
Teach when they hear
Teaching moments pop up all the time with my young Little Loves. But am I ready to act on it? To "feed them when they're hungry?" To share my testimony in the instant because they are asking?

We had one of those moments this morning. Devin wandered in my room, still groggy, to cuddle with me. "How did you sleep?" "How are you feeling?" The normal good morning chitchat.

Then Devin asked me if we could go buy the Paw Patrol truck today. 

Now let me explain what this even means.... Earlier this week, we were at Sam's Club and the "Christmas toys" were displayed. And yes Christmas is still a long ways off--tell that to the stores so my Little Loves won't ask to see the toys! Well we wandered up and down the toy aisles with the intent of not buying anything but rather to think about what the kids might want to ask Santa for Christmas. (Santa loves shopping at Sam's or Costco for Christmas toys!!)Well, we found a Paw Patrol truck.

And allow me just to say that both of my Little Loves are completely bedazzled by Paw Patrol. We do not have cable and so they only get to watch a few episodes that we own on DVD. But they are in love.

Back to the Paw Patrol truck. It was expensive. Like double the price of what Santa had in mind. I explained to Devin in the store that while Santa and the elves are magical and could make anything, we need to choose carefully what we ask for. Because the elves have to make toys for ALL the boys and girls and it wouldn't be very nice of him to ask for tons of toys or expensive ones because that means the elves wouldn't be able to make toys for everyone else. He bought my excuse.

But just because Devin realized that Santa may not be able to make him this expensive truck, does not mean that he let it go. He started begging me to just buy it for him. And to that I calmly told him that we have a budget as a family. And as fun as this toy looks, we can't afford it. I would not say that Devin ever dropped this but he did at least eventually move on.

Now fast forward to a day or two after the Paw Patrol truck at Sam's Club to just a couple days ago. I remembered that Casey and I were talking and praying about signing the kids up for a flu shot research study clinic. I had not talked to Devin about this yet. But Casey and I both felt like it would be fine if we choose to do it. This is a nicely paid research study. I had the idea to let Devin decide if he wanted to participate.

I explained that everyone was getting a flu shot. And shots hurt a little bit. But he had the option to participate in a flu shot study. I explained to him how the study would have to draw some blood and then he would have the shot. I didn't try to sugar coat the blood draw nor make it worse than it really is. I just told him the facts and yes it would hurt some. I then explained that the study is paid. And he would be able to purchase the Paw Patrol truck if he wanted. He thought about this long and hard. Was the little bit extra pain worth the money? He finally decided yes. And honestly this boy is now looking forward to getting his flu shot/ blood draw so he can earn money... a lot of money... enough to buy this overpriced Paw Patrol truck.

Back to this morning cuddling in bed. The first thing he asked me was if he could get his flu shot today. I told him we had to wait to schedule it and I didn't know for certain when that would be.

Then Devin asked me if we could go buy the Paw Patrol truck today. 

I realized this was a "teach when he will hear" type of a moment. So cuddled up in my bed, Devin learned about debt and what the Prophets and Apostles have said about it.

I also taught him how when you borrow money, you have to pay back interest. He had no idea what interest even meant. But he learned. We watched some kid friendly youtube videos about debt and interest. (That I googled right then on my phone....) I explained the videos to make sure he got it. If he were to borrow the money from us (or his grandparents) right now, he would have to pay back interest later. We talked about how if he does not have to pay back interest, he will be able to use his extra money to buy another Paw Patrol character to go in the truck. But if we bought the truck right now, then the interest he had to pay later would make it so he couldn't buy anything else.

Devin is four. And yes I was going to charge him interest. I let it be his decision after he understood the consequences for either choice.

He decided to wait.

So today he told me all about how he would play with it. And dreamed about owning it. And how he is so excited to get his flu shot.

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