Friday, October 1, 2010

Need vs. Want

Sid has this strong desire to want an American Girl doll. I honestly don't feel as if she has this true desire deep inside of her heart that this is something that she really wants to have in her hands. I believe that this is our society and her peers telling her and showing her that this is something that she should have in her possession.

I feel bad for her...this is a struggle in her mind that she is trying to figure out...

Chris and I talked with her tonight and we are going to talk with her again tomorrow to try to help her understand the difference between want and need and also to help her make sure that she is a good steward of the money that she works so hard for. Sid is great at saving and when she has something in mind to purchase, she saves up for it and then goes out to buy it. We are both ok with her saving her own money to purchase this doll "that is so outrageously expensive that it should be a crime to sell and market to kids" but we do hope that she does realize how much money this doll actually is in the long run. Whether she buys the doll or not in the end, this decision will be hers and she will own it. I do know that if she is the one that purchases the doll, she will take very good care of it...much better care than if Chris and I purchased the doll for her. I have a feeling though that once she sees how much money is in her hands that she has to hand over to the cash register to bring a doll home, she may just change her mind.

We also want to makes sure that we are sending our kids the right messages with the lessons that we are teaching our kids. We have values that we are trying to show the kids and teach them but as we are showing them these different aspects of life, we want to make sure that our own actions are not confusing them.

Chris brought up a good point some point we will be taking the kids to Disney. This is a want for our family. We definitely don't need this vacation but know that it would bring lots of joy to the kids. If we show the kids that we are saving for this trip and have the money for it but also the money for our other family and individual needs, this vacation will work for our family and we also want to do something special for them. If we took this vacation and didn't have the funds for this or to pay for our other personal and family needs, this vacation would need to wait. But...while we save for this vacation, we also still need to be giving to others that are in need.

Last week we had many towns just North of Rochester flood. Rochester got lucky and because of some great city planning 30+ years ago after the last big flood, Rochester was prepared. Unfortunately, a bunch of people lost their homes and some even everything that they had other than their clothes, family members and their car. I showed Sid a video of a mom that was on tv whose home was destroyed. She managed to get her 6 year old out of the house before the home flooded and was able to drive away with her daughter in their car. These towns are trying to rebuild but can't even start until they can get into their towns, sort through what they may or may not have and demolish the buildings that no longer can be lived in. The point of showing Sid this help her realize and see that she has lots of dolls in her room that she doesn't even play with anymore. She has sold most of her dolls and doll stuff at our last garage sale...all on her own. Hopefully this video showed her that she is pretty lucky right now to have so much already to play with when others have so little.

If she does decide to purchase one of these dolls, I will support her and go with her so she can buy it and not question her about it. I know that she will have worked hard to earn that money. I do hope though that if she does get one of these dolls that she will see that she may not need some of the other dolls that she has in her room that have been gathering dust and donate those to another child that may need some toys to play with.

Sid is growing up and learning a lot of life lessons. She is a great kid and I know that she will make some great choices and some not-so-great choices. Whatever her decisions are in life, I hope that she is happy and while she is happy that she will also keep others in the front of her mind.


The McCutcheons said...

I have blogged about this very subject before. :) Living in a home surrounded by girls and NO American Girl rare. Our girls watch other good friends walk around with their A.G. dolls and it's hard. Many of them have gotten them as gifts from grandparents or have saved the money on their own.

Hannah has wanted one for 3 years and now Gracie and Nora want them too. I agree that the price is CRAZY. It's not an easy choice to make but I love that you are teaching her about this subject..."Need vs. Want". Many parents don't and in my opinion...they should. This is the very reason that we don't have a Wii. We don't need one. Carter has been saving by picking up dog poop for a neighbor and he has enough now. We'll see if he decides to buy one. :)

Jessica said...

No offense to anyone that does have is just so hard when our economy is saying "save, save" and yet people are still spending like crazy. I do think it is so important to teach kids how important it is not to spend what they don't have. As adults it is hard to follow this too but hopefully by showing the kids early on how to handle their money and how much a dollar is really worth they will make smart decisions for themselves now and in the future.