The other morning Titus came up to Bethany and I and showed us something on the iPad. Apparently he saw something in the App Store that looked interesting to him, so he told us that he “wanted to buy it.” We kind of chuckled and said, “Do you have any money?” Quickly Titus replied, “In my piggy bank!” and ran towards his room. When he returned with his blue piggy bank we opened it up and found 14 Czech crowns inside. It’s not enough to buy a $0.99 app, but it’s about halfway. Bethany explained to Titus that he would need to save his money up. I don’t remember the specifics, but he was a little confused. So we explained to him further about earning money and saving it in his bank. Bethany had the idea that he could do jobs around the house and earn more money–extra tasks outside of normal responsibilities. Titus, of course, got really excited and that’s when I knew we had opened up a can of worms.
All day yesterday he couldn’t help but talking about doing “jobs” and making money. At one point I got a call on my phone and it was Titus telling me, “Daddy! I made enough money to buy something!” He was really enthusiastic and it was fun to hear him get excited. Today Bethany let him and Avery take out the recycling which allowed them both to earn a few more crowns each. And apparently in-between jobs Titus is doing a little shopping because he already has his heart set on another purchase.
There are a lot of lessons to be learned in this for Titus, but I feel like I’m the one learning the most. It’s weird as a parent to engage in this kind of discussion because I have this strange fear of teaching Titus something wrong about money. I keep thinking, “I don’t want Titus to think just because he made some money that he can buy whatever he wants.” I also think, “I don’t want Titus to be a consumer and not be wise with his money” and “I want Titus to be a good steward of what God has provided!” We want him to learn how to work and how to save. We want him to be thankful for what God has given him and make good decisions. I know he’s only four but I feel a pressure to not mess these lessons up. That’s probably a good pressure. It’s reminding me that as Titus grows older he will need more and more help in learning to be wise and he’ll need our instruction to guide. That might sound elementary but it’s what I’ve been thinking about today.
Pray for us as we engage our kids. Parenting requires great balance, patience, and wisdom. Even in these little discussions about money there is a lot to be learned and taught and I just really want to do a good job.