First off, let’s talk about what this post is NOT, before I get all sorts of nasty emails.
- This post is not why American Girl dolls are bad, ugly, too expensive, or the downfall of society.
- This post is NOT about why parents shouldn’t buy expensive things for their children.
- This post is not about why I hate shrimp, or why I keep procreating children who like to play in the toilet when I forget to close the lid.
About a year ago, Annie saw a family member with her American Girl doll. And she decided that she wanted one too.
So, Barry and I were cool with that – but we knew the expense of the dolls and the difficulty at finding them used for a good price (because the instant one is posted, people jump on that sucker like white on rice…it’s like Black Friday or something).
We told Annie it was fine for her to have a doll, but we would not be buying the doll for her.
She would have to save up her own money and buy it. And surprisingly, instead of crying and carrying on like I almost expected, she threw me for a loop, as usual…kids are good for that. She was EXCITED! Do you know why?
Because we didn’t say “No.” We said “Yes, but you have to buy it.”
Honestly, I expected her to forget and move on to something else, but she didn’t. She saved for almost a year until she had enough money. She worked extra chores, saved her gift money, and worked some for the neighbors raking leaves to earn money.
I was BLOWN AWAY.
So, when her doll arrived I have never seen her so excited over anything since…well, ever. It’s been with her everywhere so far…including the bathroom and outside to play. She’s taken great pride in the first thing she saved and purchased herself.
**Photo above from Instagram**
There are several reasons why we didn’t make this purchase for our 6 year old. It’s not because we’re cheap. It’s not because we didn’t have the money. It’s not because we’re trying to make her suffer.
Five reasons we didn’t buy our child an American Girl doll:
- We wanted her to learn the value of a dollar. If you make $100 from work, it’s so rewarding for someone to hand that to you. If you win $100, that’s great too…but it just doesn’t feel the same as working for it. It’s a satisfaction that’s good to learn at an early age.
- We wanted her to value the item. If someone buys something for you, sometimes you don’t value it as much as if you purchase it yourself. It comes from your blood, sweat, and tears. We figured that Annie would better take care of something she purchased herself than “oh well, they’ll just give me another one.” She knows how long it took her to get this doll – so she won’t be playing with it willy nilly.
- We wanted to see if she REALLY wanted it. It’s never a wise decision to decide on a huge purchase and then immediately buy it. It’s always good to at least sleep on the matter…a night, or a couple. Or sometimes even a year. “Do I REALLY want this thing that will cost me a lot of my time, energy, and money?” For Annie, she proved that the answer was yes. A lot of times this keeps ME from making crazy dumb purchases.
- We don’t want to teach her a sense of entitlement. It’s kind of easy to teach children at an early age that they deserve things or they can get whatever they ask for. Sometimes, this can bleed over into adulthood and result in massive quantities of debt. “But I wanted that super expensive stereo system!” You don’t get something just because you ask for it. Or just because you deserve it. Thanks be unto God, we don’t get what we deserve. Amen?
- We wanted to teach her to….wait. Dude, waiting is hard. So hard. I hate waiting. But being able to wait is one of the best qualities we can acquire. We live in a microwave society. I want it, and I want it NOW. But that’s not how life really works…and we would rather our children learn this at a young age than to be surprised later on.
Does this post mean you shouldn’t buy your child an American Girl Doll? A DS? A home in Fort Lauderdale? No. But, it might give you pause about making big purchases for them. It might help you realize that you can teach them important things even at age 6. It might help you get really mad at me and unsubscribe (but I hope not).
It’s good to give good things to our children…but one of those good things is also knowledge. 🙂
Do you think it’s wise to wait for big purchases?