As a stay-at-home mom (SAHM), I don’t have the luxury of allowing my kids to splurge on toys and gadgets, especially because they already have a ton of toys in the playroom. So, when my one and only princess begged me hard to buy a Barbie (yes, the real, branded Barbie!) when we went shopping last Christmas, I had to turn her down.
First of all, we do not have that kind of money, money that overflows so that we can have every whim answered. Secondly, it was a real Barbie – she could have picked cheaper ones but she wanted that exact model. Third, I do not want to raise my kids as spoiled brats who can get anything they want, anytime they want it. No, ma’am! I won’t ruin their futures by doing that.
Of course, as little kids go, the princess begged and pleaded and promised to do everything I wanted her to do so I would buy her the precious toy. Mommy relented after a while, mentally kicking myself but also congratulating the kiddo for not raising a tantrum. It’s bad enough that I really can’t afford the doll at that moment, a screaming kid who draws the pre-Christmas crowd’s attention to us would be the worst predicament I could imagine.
So, we came to a compromise. She would have to do extra chores at home in exchange for tokens. When she collects 100 tokens, we’ll buy the doll. She agrees after a little cajoling. At 4, she has a fair idea that 100 is a big number but she did promise to do everything to get that doll.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not a slave driver and not planning to give the kiddo a huge list of heavy tasks to do in exchange for a token. It’s not like this is a punishment or something. At home, we all have separate, scheduled tasks to do throughout the day and week. Separate tokens are given for tasks achieved – and I told my princess that so she won’t get her hopes up.
It is for doing extra tasks that she would get a token. I’ve even allowed her to pick any extra task she wants to do. So far, she’s collected 36 tokens. It would be another month or so before she hits the 100 mark. As for me, I’ve already set aside ample money for the doll. I can hardly wait to bring her to the mall after she’s completed her task – but don’t tell her that!