Whether it’s two days after Christmas, a week after a big birthday or just a Saturday afternoon, the, “Mummy and Daddy, I neeed this toy now. Pleassse!” rants seem like they never end.
You thought that you nixed your little one’s notions of an endless stream of playthings (courtesy of you, of course) when you instituted a pocket money policy. Right? Wrong. Even though your child now has their own money to spend, they’re still asking for more. What can you do?
One dad responded to his 6-year-old son’s request with a laugh-worthy letter.
When a St. Louis, Missouri dad responded to his son’s allowance advance request, what he did caught the eyes of parents across the Internet. After penning (or rather, typing) a formal-looking loan denial letter to his son, this dad posted his anti-allowance-boosting idea to Reddit.
The 6-year-old asked his dad for $20 (this is above what he gets for allowance). After begging his mum for the money to buy a new toy all day, dad stepped in. “I was in my office, and he had clearly been bothering Mum, who gave him the idea to ‘go ask Dad for a loan on your allowance,’” Dad, Mike, told the Huffington Post. The letter, which very much follows what a real bank denial would look like, includes responses such as, “We regret to inform you at this time that we are unable to provide a loan in the amount of $20.00” and, “If you would like to refute this decision, you can contact our complaint department.”
After making its way across the parenting world, the letter has almost 5 million views so far. We all know the burn of spending money on your child, only to have him ask for more. Have you not already given enough? This dad tackles the idea that more isn’t more by adding, “Furthermore, over $80.00 has been spent on discretionary entertainment since Christmas.” The “unsuitable amount” (as most parents would likely agree with) is the start of the 6-year-old’s debt to dad. Not wanting to compound the money spent, DAD Savings and Loan (the fictional bank that dad creates – and even adds a brilliantly real-looking logo) denies any near-future spending.
So, what’s the true genius of this letter? Sure, it’s funny. And yes, it’s quite clever. But, it’s also all too real. Anyone who has ever over-spent, over-used a credit card or asked for a loan (without the collateral to back it up) knows the oh-so-strong emotions that this type of letter brings up. Not only does it show CEO Dad’s son that he won’t always get everything he asks for, but it also sets up a real-life lesson.
How many of us mums and dads would love nothing more than to get our ‘toys’ anytime we asked? A new car? Sure! Diamonds and gold? Of course! If we all lived life like a 6 year-old, we’d have it made. We, as adults, understand the differences between wants and needs. And we (again, collectively as adults) understand how money works. But, young children do not.
To the casual observer it might appear that said 6-year-old is just being bratty. After all, he did presumably get a Santa sack-load of presents, and then there’s the $80 that his parents spent on him. Now he wants what? Another $20? Seems a bit greedy, right? Not to a young child – who doesn’t yet truly understand the value of money. Ask your 6-year-old (or younger kiddo) where mummy’s money comes from. The answer is likely to be, “From working so hard.” More often than not it sounds something like, “From the bank” or, “From the money machine.” When your child asks for more toys, more money, more ‘stuff’, simply saying “No way” might not get the real message through.
That said, this very adult-like letter does! Not only is it a creative solution to one of the most prevalent problems that parents face, but it gets kids (even young kids) thinking about how money works in the real world. The next time that your child begs about borrowing, take a tip from DAD Savings and Loan and adopt his tagline” “Because, apparently I look like I’m made of money.”