A few weeks ago, Alana was out of town to present at a conference. This was a big deal for her: it meant validation that she was onto something great in her career, and it also meant she had the ability to go away for a few days and recharge. Let’s face it—when you have three kids, that’s much needed!
It was also a big deal for the kids and me. At five full days, it was the longest mama had ever been away from home since we had our first child. It was an opportunity to prove to myself, Alana, and to the kids that I was capable of holding down the fort and keeping everyone alive. I travel for work fairly frequently, so I knew it was entirely possible to make it work.
And while everyone lived through her absence, we definitely missed her. I had a schedule planned for meals, activities, and school. The kids knew what to expect.
But sometimes, even when you have a plan, you have to adapt, right?
That’s what I was planning on doing when I chose to load the three kids in the car that Saturday afternoon to go get dinner at Chick Fil A. As I told them my plan, Andrew (six years old), looked at me with a very serious tone and asked,
“But Daddy, if we’re going to be rich, shouldn’t we skip Chick Fil A and save our money?”
This is a big win. It sounds like a simple question from a six year old. But it’s so much more than that. It’s validation. It’s vindication. Proof that he was paying attention to our lesson about Saving, Spending, and Giving. Our lessons about the easiest way to become rich: save more than you spend.
So how did I respond? I took him to Chick Fil A to celebrate, of course!
When your kid shows that something this important, this valuable, has sunk in, you follow through on the lesson. So we stayed home and ate something we had prepared in the fridge.
My action advice:
- I know that as parents, many of us have the natural inclination to notice where we’re going wrong, where we can get better. Take a few minutes to reflect on your parenting wins. Celebrate those wins along the way. Parenting is tough stuff. But it’s also the most rewarding job many of us will ever experience.
- Use this as an opportunity to do some self-reflection and make sure you’re demonstrating the behavior you want your kids to. Remember: kids watch you for a living. That’s their job. Model the behavior you want them to embody. That’s yours.
Please, share your biggest parenting with when it comes to teaching your kids money. We’d love to celebrate them with you!