How can I tell my son that I can't afford game systems in an age-appropriate manner?
My five-year-old son was recently in a car accident while I was driving. He was injured slightly, but thankfully only had to spend a day and a half in the hospital. When I went to visit him, he told me he loved the hospital, because there were game systems. When I went to pick him up from the hospital, he told me he didn't want to leave because we didn't have game systems at home. While I carried him out, he asked if we could get a game system, I said "We'll see." The truth is, I don't have enough money to buy a game system he wants. Is there a way I can tell him this that he can understand as five-year-old?
- MinnowLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
I'd probably do something like this....
"I wish we could get one. I'd really love to try it out. But we can't afford that right now. I also get worried if you sit and play games all day, you'll get unhealthy. It's alright when you're sick and in the hospital, but you're healthy now and I want to make sure you don't just sit around." Then I would point out how much the game systems cost, and how much the games cost. Probably in a store. For our house, I'd show him how much his cereal costs, how much the dog's food and cats' food costs, how much it costs for water and electricity and such, and how much we don't have at the end of the month. We're still safe, but we can't just buy one.
Then I'd set up a big piggy bank, out of a big jar or something, and start saving up with him to buy one. I'd write how much we'd need to save, and promise to put in something like a dime a day, and encourage him to put in whatever he felt he could afford. And if he helps with things like using less water and electricity, then we would put that extra money in the jar. If he collects aluminum cans, I'd take him to the recycling center and let him keep the money and put it in the jar. Instead of a new shirt at the store, let's see if we can buy one at the arc, and put the money into the jar.
Yeah, it'll take some time. Maybe 2-3 years even with how expensive some games are. But it will teach him for a lifetime. Something else to keep in mind, if after Thanksgiving day sales help him get it sooner, he'll learn to watch for sales, not just buy it full-price.
This is a time for him to learn a very important lesson. Don't buy on credit, save up for what you want, and learn to save whatever you can because every nickel gets you closer.
- Dorothy K.Lv 71 decade ago
When I was 5 years old, which really wasn't all that long ago, my parents couldn't afford these things either and they just told me straight up. They said, "Those cost a lot of money and we don't have that much right now, but if you're good and you help me when I need it, we'll save a little bit each month and then when we get enough, we'll get you one." Then they always delivered on that. Sometimes it would take a full year to save up, but they always delivered on their promise and that was a good lesson to learn. It taught my brother and I the value of hard work, saving money, and keeping promises. We also learned to value honesty. Kids are not stupid, just be honest and they'll be disappointed, but they'll understand and then the begging will stop!
- 1 decade ago
one mistake i learnt from my mother, that i know NOT to do to my child is to say you dont have enough money or ur broke because you actually make the kid worry about you. And also they will always think oh ur broke and wish they could be ina better situation , it doesnt help their mentailty but ur son siund very spoilt also. To say he wont go because we ddint have game systems, i also know mistakes parents make is not make their kids more active. I noticed my fiance , he never watched tv because he was always dong sport, always active, instead of games systems which u will just create him to become lazy and not want to socialise with the outside world, i know this because my brother was always into games and so on, to apoint he found it better than socialising. so u buying games and introducing him to such a thing, i mean if u already have only allow it during weekends , an hour a day, the rest of the days, he is active doing things, the rest of the hours he is active playing outside, introduce his to soccer lessons, make him active or else ull regret the day where he wont even respond to you cus he is so focused on his games. So just clearly say no and say; do you really think thats going to make you be someone in your life, theres more to life thans itting at home with games systems, i dont know what games systems are but im just telling you my experince as my brother and my cousin are obsessed, but then i met my fiance who was very intelligent and active, a normal kid should be. My twin and ,my cousin, they arent the best social people cus of it.Source(s): Mother of 1 year old son and another baby boy on the way.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Tell him exactly as it is. Kids get over things quickly at that age. They stay angry for a little while and find new ways to occupy their time. Just tell him I'd love to be able to buy you everything you want honey but, I just don't have enough money. and teach him about saving money, get him a piggy bank and put all of your change in it every time you empty your pockets. If he gets enough for a game tell him he can buy one if he wishes but if he does it comes out of his own money. ;)
Also, tell him that the hospital charges people a lot for those kinds of conveniences.Source(s): I've been doing this with my kid since she was 6 months old. She doesn't throw fits or anything because I tell her she just plain won't get anything if she gets the greedies.
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- Anonymous1 decade ago
If you can afford it maybe buy him one of those cheap leapstar game systems are something. Otherwise just be honset and tell him that mommy doesn't have the money to buy him a game system.
- 1 decade ago
They understand more than you think. Not every parent can afford these things. Just tell him that. Also, tell him that more importantly than the things you can or can't buy that you love him.