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Teaching patience, the toy battles.

08 Jul 2014


Let’s face it, shopping is not high on my enjoyment list.  And, there is nothing worse than shopping and watching my little pride and joy give me the look of disappointment when I tell him “No, you’re not getting another transformer today.”  Usually this event leaves me feeling like I’m depriving my son of some magical childhood experience.  It amazes me the mastery and skill a 9-year old has on emotional manipulation of his parents.  That much power should never be given to a minor.

This scene in the aisles of stores is repeated on almost every trip to a store with a decent toy section.  I must say he handles rejection very well, it’s almost as if he has been through sales bootcamp in school and has learned that in sales you need to get at least ten no’s before you get one yes.  He sells the sizzle, never talks cost and can highlight feature and benefits…all in less :30 seconds.

No matter what was tried to get him to stop, he would continue.  He really is a great kid, and he isn’t throwing fits and screaming in the store, but it is annoying and not a lot of fun to repeat a process over and over.  I just want him to understand that in life you do not always get what you want.

Than one day while in Kmart, I had an epiphany.  An idea popped in my head that was pure genius.  With the new Transformers movie approaching there is a lot of new Transformer toys on the shelf, and I knew he would be extra motivated to get as many of them as he could.  If my idea worked, it could save the world…well at least my world.

The idea?  Layaway.  He picks whichever toy he really wants and we put it on layaway.  Than, he does extra chores to make some cash and makes the payments.  It seemed kind of crazy to put a $25 toy on layaway, but that is exactly what happened.  And right now Optimus Prime is sitting in the layaway room of Kmart in Corvallis, he will be able to fight evil in the world as soon as my son pays the $1.74 balance that he owes.

Since Optimus has been on layaway there have been no attempts to “sell” me on buying him another toy.  When we go into Kmart he goes back to the layaway area and he makes his payments, usually around $1.00 to $2.00.  The clerks are very nice and go over his balance and payment schedule, he listens because they are giving him the information he needs to get what he wants.

It is too early to know if the layaway solution will continue to work, but it sure has worked some magic so far.  He has a sense of urgency to help around the home, he keeps track of his money and balance, and has not asked once to have another toy purchased for him.

I am confident we will be using this option again in the near future, even if the price of doing it is a little higher, the overall cost is much lower.  And, that is something to think about.


From → Kids, Parenting

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