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Here’s the thing. Both of my children desperately want laptop computers of their own. My daughter so she can do homework and reading and school related projects;my son for more important things like downloading video games so as not to totally destroy my desktop. The iPods and iPads are not sufficient. My two desktops(all Apple, btw, you know Steve Jobs is my hero) simply will not cut it. “Mooommmmm, we neeeeed our own laptops.” So, I told them what I have told them in the past. If you want it then you have to buy it. Now, granted, Santa brought the pods and pads at various Christmases, but the children have gone into their banks to buy things they wanted in the past. My daughter bought her own American Girl doll, for example. If you have a daughter then you know how ridiculously expensive those dolls are. My son used his savings to buy some games for xbox and a Nerf gun. Again–outrageously expensive. Could I have just bought those things? Yup. Would I have taught them anything about the value of a dollar? Nope. I always try to reinforce to both children that nothing is free in this life. If you want something, you have to work for it. I also drill into their heads how important it is to get a college education. I don’t ever want them to have to depend on another to survive—-especially my daughter. I am revolted by the notion that you need a man to survive in this world. No, you need to be solid with yourself, then you find a partner and stay with them because you love them and not because you need them. The more education you have, the more money you make–proven fact. The more money you make, the less you have to depend on anyone for anything. Look, I love Larry, but if he left tomorrow, I could take care of my kids. I have a Master’s Degree in Education–no one can ever take that from me. I tell this to my kids all the time. I “put in my time” so to speak. I went to college plus one. That’s why now I can try something else because I already have that foundation of education. I tell them Dad went to school even longer. He could stop being a dentist right now and do something completely different. He’s already gone to school and established himself. Most of the time, I think they don’t get it. But, remember last week when I told you our kids really do listen to us? Well, they really do!
Back to the laptop dilemma. I absolutely will not buy them one–each mind you–they each want their own. Lo and behold, they do not have enough money saved to buy one. Oh, the humanity! “Mom, can we borrow the money? We’ll pay you back.” Nope. No. No-Can-Do.
So, Olivia starts thinking like an entrepreneur. She decides she is going to make jewelry and sell it for 50 cents to $1.00 depending on the order. She is going to add it to her savings and allowance until she has enough money to buy a laptop. I Love it!!!!!!She hears me!! My words went into her brain and stayed there! My son loves Mad Libs. He is going to design his own pages and put a pamphlet together to sell to kids who like Mad Libs. He will add the money to his savings and allowance until he has enough money to buy his own laptop. Will I buy them the materials they need to begin this process? Absolutely, because I see that spirit—I see they are learning the value of money. That concept is hard to teach in general–it is even harder when you are blessed enough to be able to just buy them whatever they want. They are learning at their young ages that nothing comes for free, that you have to work for what you want, and that you need an education for those things to happen. They are also learning at their young ages to be entrepreneurs. They are learning to take risks and see if they pay off. They are learning valuable life lessons that will benefit them when they are older. I feel fortunate to be able to teach them and influence them in the right direction. Happy Shopping:)