Practical Dad

Keeping In Touch With the Kids - On a Budget

Your kids actually would like to spend time with you, even if they don't readily admit it as when they were younger.  The problem that I'm running into sometimes is that what the kids want to do involves going out and spending more money.  So how do I try to handle things?

First, if the time involves going to a bookstore or other retail spot, I try to set up the parameters ahead of time.  Drink?  Yes/No/Maybe  Snack?  Yes/No/Maybe  Purchase?  Yes/No/Maybe  Even if they later badger me, I can fall back on the original parameters. 

Second, I try to be consistent about the personal rules.  No credit card to pay for food and snacks.  Pay only with cash and not with change (all my change goes into a money jar at the end of the day). 

Third, I sometimes remove the credit card so that I can fall back on its absence if the badgering reaches the point that even I have a problem with the pressure.  And yeah, they can really make it difficult to keep saying no.

Which leaves us with the prospect of being able to learn how to enjoy simple browsing, a valuable skill to know.

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