Lately my son has been in full-on greed mode. It seems like every time I talk to him he asks me to give him something buy him something, do something.
“Dad, can you buy me a Yu-Gi-Oh card?”
“Dad, can you buy me a videogame?”
“Dad, can I get this?”
“Dad, can I get that?”
That is really kind of obnoxious. My response has turned into “What’s in it for me?”
Really, he’s constantly asking for stuff and he’s trying to provide no value back. What kind of lesson would I be teaching him by handing him everything he’s asking for? So, I’ve decided to make him come up with a value proposition: “What’s in it for me?”
Now, when he asks me to buy him a video game, I ask what’s in it for me.
Sometimes, he comes back with “Well nothing, you just love me.” That is garbage. I’m not going to buy him stuff just as because I love him and teach them that you can buy someone’s affection or that you should be paying for someone’s affection.
Other times he comes back with “If you buy me video game, I will clean all of the poop out of the backyard.” (We have a dog. I’m not messy.) That seems like a much better deal.
Other times, he reminds me that I owe him back-allowance. That one’s a given. If I owe him more than whatever he is asking for, he’s going to get it.
Sometimes, he’ll say that he willing to do a bunch of extra chores or something, but he is learning that he needs to trade value for value instead of assuming that every whim he’s got is going to be indulged by me just because I’m his parent and I’ve been generous in the past.