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Posted on Thu, May 13, 2010 : 11 a.m.

What do you do when your kids want everything?

By Angela Verges


Angela Verges | Contributor

Does your child ask to buy something every time you go to the store? “Can I get new gym shoes?” “I need new shorts.” “I need new under armor.” I ask, “Is under armor something that Batman wears?” In fact it is not; it is a spandex type shirt or pant that athletes wear under their uniforms.

When the requests come rapid fire, I fire back with a candid response. ”Due to the high volume of demands, I am unable to meet your request at this time.” On many occasions I have had to let my children know that there is a difference between “wants” and “needs.”

Now that they receive an allowance, they view things a little differently. My husband and I take care of the children’s basic needs and they can spend their allowance on extras. However there are conditions to their allowance; half of the money must go in the bank before they start spending. If there is a high-priced item that the kids want, they must save for a few weeks to make the purchase. They don’t ask for everything when they have to contribute money.

Verges - son astonished

Son astonished with how quickly his allowance disappears

Angela Verges | Contributor

An article I recently read indicated that giving an allowance can be an excellent tool for teaching about money and how to manage it. It said that we should think about the reason for giving an allowance. In our house, the allowance is for chores completed. When tasks are not completed to our satisfaction, the allowance is docked.

It is a good idea to let children make mistakes with their money and use the mistakes as teachable moments. On a recent shopping trip my youngest son decided that he wanted to purchase a toy. He had a limited amount of money and had to decide between two items that he wanted. He selected an item with many movable parts. The next day, a piece of the toy broke. He said, “I knew I should have bought the football cards.”

My children are learning that sometimes it is good to shop around and consider their options before making a purchase. That under armor (shirt) that my older son wanted … he got it. It was on sale for $11.99 AND we had a 15 percent off coupon.

What do you do when kids want everything? For us, the answer is: Make them spend their own money, within guidelines.

Angela Verges is a writer and mother of two. She can be reached at


Sandria K

Sun, May 16, 2010 : 11:22 p.m.

Ditto! Make them spend their own monies and learn to cut those coupons and compare store prices...but I would add....make them volunteer they learn the meaning of giving back and how to develop lasting self-esteem - from the joy of feeling needed and giving back to those more in need....rather than the temporary jolt of satisfaction received from wearing that Under Armour Shirt or the latest pair of Nikes. Have them choose the volunteer activity...but make it regular and watch your child blossom....into a very unselfish, confident kid who can conquer the world!

Homeland Conspiracy

Sat, May 15, 2010 : 1:24 p.m.

How making them do volunteer work for the poor.


Thu, May 13, 2010 : 12:21 p.m.

I myself make the non neccessities something they have to earn. They don't have cellphones (although I do lend mine out on weekend nights!), they don't have cars given to them. If they don't have the cash in hand, depending on what they are striving for, I creatively find a job that needs to be done and give them the opportunity to earn the money for their venture. Too many kids have things just handed to them now days, and that is not real life in my opinion.