Dear son: IOU $13.75

My husband and I just had a great giggle at our son’s expense. It was one of those rare moments of one-upmanship when the scores are very much PARENTS: 1 KID:0.

You see, my husband really wanted to get a photo of our son playing with the hose outside on a sunny day. But our son would not do it until we gave him $10 because he is saving up for some Lego! Did I mention he is five-years-old?

I’m rich, I tells ya!

For the last few few days, we have been trying to encourage him to do it for free, but he remained adamant that he wanted $10 or it was no pic. Our daughter kindly offered to be in the photo for $20. These two are going to be great in the finance game one day.

Today was another hot day and again, we asked our son to be in the pic. When he said no again, I had a lightbulb moment (thanks, Oprah).

He doesn’t understand the concept of money. He doesn’t know that 10x 10 cent pieces equals $1. He thinks each coin is worth $1.

I shared this insight with my husband, who promptly reached into the change jar, grabbed a handful of silver and said to our son, “Here you go. Here is your money.”

Our son quickly ran to the table to count the money before he agreed to be in the photo.

And there he was, excitedly counting out every piece of silver – 15 pieces altogether.

“Wow!” he said, “I have $15!”.

The photo looked terrific and we have a very satisfied – albeit greedy and ruthless – little five-year-old.

Of course, the guilt will soon seep in, and I know I will secretly add the reminder of the money into his moneybox.

But for now, I shall wallow in the warm glow of victory.


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