By Diane Ako
My friend Paul and I often compare notes about child-rearing - sometimes to exasperation, sometimes just to swap tips and anecdotes. I mean, isn't that parental friendship? This conversation started with me complaining that Olivia's been having a bad streak of disobedience. (It is NOT the first time.)
He complained of same with his elder son, eight-year-old Noa. One of his stories was this: Noa asked for an expensive drum set. Paul thought it would be a teachable moment, to instill the value of money.
He said if Noa could save 50% of the cost, Paul would meet him halfway and buy the drums. He thought it would take Noa the better part of a year to save up his half.
Shortly thereafter, Paul gave his younger son Kai some allowance. Kai exclaimed with excitement, "I'm going to put this in the Drum Fund!"
Paul stopped him and asked what that meant. Apparently, Noa had sold his idea to his brother and his cousin, so that all three kids were contributing money (allowance, birthday gift money, Christmas gift money, etc.) to the pot. Noa had nearly met his fundraising goal and it had been two weeks.
Paul said with resignation, "I thought I was teaching Noa a lesson about money. Instead, he taught me a lesson about how he's going to be an entrepreneur who gets people to invest their money in his ideas!"
We have to admit - it's a good solution and it's not technically breaking a rule. I guess Paul and his neighbors will soon be enjoying the cacophany of a new and noisy instrument!