Having spent almost 5 years doing juvenile probation, I've seen a lot of teenagers with a deeply ingrained sense of entitlement. So as I encounter the typical 3 year old egocentrism, I'm always carefully thinking about things I can do to help Pierce realize a healthy respect for money, without resorting to saying lame things like "Money doesn't grow on trees".
Showing instead of just saying.
So a couple of weeks ago, a perfect teaching opportunity arose when we went to the Transportation Museum. Now let it be noted that I avoid the gift shop at all costs everytime we go there. Why? Because I have experience. And now I know better.
Seriously, why step into the fire if you can just walk around it?
But Pierce was begging and Paul was all, "Oh, we'll just walk through it on our way out".
Famous last words before being burned to a crisp.
Because there, in the piles of junk, a little train snow globe (OF ALL THINGS!) called out to Pierce and said, "YOU MUST BUY ME"
Furthermore, it also spoke to him and said, "YOU MUST THROW THE WORLD'S BIGGEST TANTRUM. LET NOTHING STOP YOU. THEY WILL RELENT".
Relent we did not. But we got lots of looks as we toted our screaming, flailing 3 year old out to the car.
It's been a long, long while since he's thrown a tantrum of such epic proportions.
I swear I think it aged me 2 years.
And so, we now have this on the fridge:
Pierce can now earn check marks on a daily basis. Things like picking up toys, putting shoes in the drawers, bringing mom diapers - all of these things earn check marks.
And at the end of the week, those check marks convert to coins.
Which then go into the ATM:
So that Pierce can save up to buy things. The ATM actually keeps track of how much he has. And now, whenever we encounter situations where Pierce says "I want, I want, I want" we say, "Okay, it costs $8.99 and you will need to do your chores and save your money".
And you know what?
Although he doesn't seem that interested in doing 'extra' chores to get 'extra' money, he does seem to be grasping the idea that he needs to save to buy.
As for the snow globe, well, Pierce did earn his $3.50 and we finally got to stop hearing about it forty times a day. Now he just HAS TO HAVE the orange Zhu Zhu named Nugget. Yup...save your money, kid!