Tuesday, August 26, 2008

When to say No?

Yesterday my kids went back to school.

WOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was SO thrilled to hear about all the awesome opportunities the school offers for me to write them checks. For example:

1. Join the band. Instruction is free. You take care of the instruments. Rental or buy, you choose. Oh, and by the way, we're going on a ski trip to Winter Park, CO at the end of the year.

2. Hot Lunch on Friday - $4 per kid for a fast-food lunch brought in from a nearby joint. That's $4 per kid, x 3 kids, x 4 Fridays per month = $48 extra per month. Just for lunch on Fridays.

3. Dance class. After school on Thursdays. Jazz and Hip-Hop. $50 per month per kid.

4. Spirit shirts. $12 per shirt so they can "dress down" on Fridays.

5. Embroidered Polo shirts for field trips. These are required, by the way. $18 each.

6. Don't forget tuition.

Now, seriously, all joking aside, when does a parent tell a kid "no"? I'm not preaching, I'm asking. Peppermint Patty asked about the dance classes. Truthfully, we don't really have an extra $50 to spend on that every month, but we could probably squeeze it from somewhere. But I think she only wants to do it because all her friends are doing it too. But it's not like she's asking for $50 per month to go hang out at the mall or blow on toys. It's exercise. It's supervised fine arts. But really, I don't think we can do it. I am vacillating between just letting her do it, and finding the money somewhere, and telling her no and finding some reason that she can understand.

What would you do? What have you done?


Laurie said...

Since you asked, here is where I would draw the line:

Yes to renting the instrument, child can save own money for CO trip if he/she wants to.

They can have Friday fast food if they pay for it. You'll quickly find out how important something is to them if you insist on this.

50 a month is very high for dance lessons. I would use it as a reward for some behavior you want to see increased.

And I hear you, got 3 kids myself.

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

My daughter really wants to get back into figure skating. She's been begging for FOUR years. I finally told her-pray that God shows us a way if this is His plan. We are all praying and have found odds and ends PLUS she has proposed selling her American Girl dolls (which she loves) on Ebay to help. She is serious now.

Enjoy the 'break' :)

Debbie said...

Tell her the money that you use for dance classes will be in lieu of Christmas or birthday presents and see how serious she is. If you have to sacrifice to get her there, she should also make a sacrifice if it is something she truly truly wants to do. That's my two cents.

Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING said...

Everyone has such great ideas. I am impressed.

We simply tell our kids NO sometimes. They can't do everything and part of my staying at home means that some things have to go. That is just the way it is. My mom told me NO a lot growing up with many around me were rarely told no. We didn't have much and lived modestly and drove modest cars as you know. I think it gives kids a deeper appreciation for what they do have. But mostly, it shows them that you just can't HAVE everything and there are reasons for it. I fear that the youth of today will not be able to afford themselves tomorrow thereby multiplying our country's credit debt problem.


Texan Mama @ WhoPutMeInCharge said...

Angie, you give a really awesome perspective. As usual. Thanks for that.

The Nice One said...

Do you have the yearbooks too?
Yea, at $20 bucks a kid a book...uh YEA.

Baby Favorite said...

It's really, really difficult, but sometimes I do tell my kids "no."

We went on a very pricey vacation recently one that, in retrospect, we probably shouldn't have gone on (speaking of saying NO!) because it was way out of our normal price range. As we attempted to pay it off, I had to tell my daughter she couldn't do cheerleading for an entire year.

We finally are getting to the point where we can *kinda* afford the monthly fees and traveling to competitions again, so I told her we'd try one season and see how it went, but there'd be no guarantees that we could sign up again in the springtime.

It was hard telling her no, but she really did understand.

The expenses are endless, aren't they?! I can't imagine having to get by with four children. We can barely do it with two sometimes!