Lesson One: Pick your battles aka What Were You Thinking, Tertia
Me: Lets go to the park guys
Kids: Much jubilation
Me: It's late though, so we aren't staying for long
Adam: Can we stay for 5 mins
Kate: Can we stay for 13 minutes
Adam: Can we stay for 17 minutes
Kate: Can we stay for a million minutes
Me: No, we can't stay long. Just play for a bit and then we will go home
Kate: I want to stay for a million minutes!!!
Me: Don't be silly, we aren't staying for a million minutes
Kate: I WANT TO STAY FOR A MILLION MINUTES!!!
Me: Kate! Don't be ridiculous, we can't stay for a mill....... (I suddenly realize I am arguing with a five year old who can't tell time - WTF!!) ...... ok Kate, we can stay for a million minutes.
Kids: Much jubilation, skip off to go play.
We leave 20 minutes later, everyone is happy.
Lesson Two: Teaching children about the value of money and hard work aka Be Careful What You Wish For
Scene 1: At the kids play place
Kate: I want one of those squishy ____ (a ridiculously overpriced toy that some sadist left right at the checkout)
Kate: But I want one!! (to be read in whiny voice)
Me: No Kate, I am not buying one of those, they are too expensive
Kate: (with great dramatic flair) YOU'RE RUINING MY LIFE!
Me: I am not buying that toy. That's it.
Kate: Then I will buy it myself
Me: With what money?
Kate: You must give me money.
Me: Oh no, it doesn't work like that. You have to WORK for money
Kate: (dramatically) But I ASK and I ASK to go to work with you (true story, they always want to come with me when I say I am going to work), and you always say NO! How am I supposed to work if you wont let me go!
Me: Kate, you aren't supposed to come to my work to do work, you need to have a JOB. You need a job to make money.
Kate: (throws hands up) But my job is to make a mess and you are always telling me not to make a mess and so how am I supposed to do my job if you wont let me?
Me: (I try my best to hide my laughter and explain about jobs and pocket money etc. I see a light goes on in Kate's mind).
Kate is now on a mission to make money. She is constantly hounding me for jobs for money. This morning at 6am on New Years Day, she pries open my eyes with the words "have you got a job for me?". I let her reorganize (read 'mess') my sock drawer.
This is her collection of money she has made so far. Next step is to teach her the actual monetary value of each coin. But not too soon, it is far cheaper letting her believe that more coins are better than a few paper notes.