How do you tell your kids no, when...

United States
June 10, 2007 6:28pm CST
How do you kids no, when they want a toy that you can't afford? Do you make excuses or just tell them that money is tight and it's not in the budget. Or, do you just say that you'll buy the toy for them at Christmas time, and cross your fingers and hope that you have enough money saved by then? We haven't faced this issue yet with our little one, but I know there will come the day that she sees the Barbie Jeep and wants one for herself. Then we'll be having the little money talk.
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22 responses
@KissThis (3006)
• United States
11 Jun 07
I like to explain to my child honestly why I am not willing to purchase something that they want. Whether it be that I don't have enough money or it be that I don't like the toy that they pick out I believe in being honest with them. A child can be very understanding when you explain to them that money is a little tight so they won't be able to get a new toy for a while. I remember when my daughter was little an she asked me for a new toy at the store I told her no because I didn't have enough money she looked me in the eyes and said " Mommy, just write a check." After I explained to her that there wasn't enough money in the checking account either I had to laugh.
1 person likes this
@sedel1027 (17855)
• United States
10 Jun 07
I tell my son all the time if we can't afford anything. I would rather be honest with him then make up some excuse and then him think we are lying to him about why we can't afford something. I do tell him when we cannot afford something to write it down and save the list so that when he wants a reward or a holiday present - like end of school or getting honor roll - we can look at the list and determine what is a good reward/present for the situation. For example, at the end of the school year we told him he could have a big reward (this was in January) if he got honor roll all nine weeks. So we had time to save up. He wanted a Nintendo DS and since it was to expensive we told him he had to come up with $100 (less than half) to apply to it. So came up with $100 between money he saved up a WM gift card I got him and a WM gift card my Mom got him. I found a package at WM that was the DS, a case, plus 2 games. Even after that he had enough money to go to Toys R Us and buy a 3rd game. Now that is his last BIG present/reward until Christmas. During the school year we do small rewards for being good all week (no bad marks in conduct) - Lunchables for lunch on Fridays, if he is good a number of weeks he will get something bigger - pack of Yu-gi-oh cards, movie of his choice, etc.
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@lillake (1634)
• United States
10 Jun 07
I just explain honestly why we can't afford the toy, validate his feeling by agreeing that it would be cool to have, maybe even engage in a little make believe and talk about what we would do if we had the toy. If he really seems to want it I may try to find out why and see if there is a compromise we can come to about it.
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@kit_anne (37)
• Denmark
11 Jun 07
Parents don't know how to handle their kids. Parents should SAY WHAT THEY MEAN AND MEAN WHAT THEY SAY. When you say NO to your child on asking what he wants (not he really needs) stick to your decisions even though he does child tantrums. You need to be tough because if you're not going to stick on your decisions then afterwards you will say "OK we will buy that for you", the child will never learn the meaning of NO and YES! The child will get confuse. On buying some things, we need to think if its a NEEDS or WANTS! For me, if ever I have lots of money.. I still need to think the priority things to buy. Ive been trained to be a wise buyer or wise money spender. My mom taught me. On children cases, of course you need to buy them toys but not always. And dont be temted to buy just because they will do tantrums in a shopping center. :)
11 Jun 07
I totally agree with you I have 1 daughter 10yrs & since she was very small I have treat her the way you have mentioned in all matter now I`m proud of her she is best kid in our whole family. I have changed myself also a lot for her things I say no to her I follow first then I refuse her either be eatting habit or anything else or may be discipline matter
• Denmark
11 Jun 07
Children should be treated as an adult. At age 2 to 10 years old that's what we call the disciplining phase because if they had outgrown bad habits like temper tantrums to get things, crying just to get what they want. When they grow up, they will grow as a spoiled brat. Parents don't understand the meaning of disciplining child in early years, they say, she's still a child, she doesnt know what she's doing, I dont want her crying, it hurts me! Parents should be the one to decide, train the children in early years. Look around us, some youths were want to get anything they want even though it's against the law. stealing in the mall, etc. Oh well! attitudes of a child can be seen on how the parents molded her or him.
@Gemmygirl1 (2870)
• Australia
12 Jun 07
My daughter isn't old enough to ask for things yet but i plan on telling her if i haven't got enough money but that she can have it for Xmas or birthday if she's extra good! There's always lay-by or lay-away - depending on what you call it. Here they have started Xmas lay-by which allows you to put things on lay-by now & pay them off between now & Xmas Eve - that's like 7 months to pay for it! Or the normal lay-by which can be anywhere from 8-12 weeks so that always makes life so much easier for us so maybe you could look in to doing it that way - a little every week or 2 is much easier to come up with than the whole lot at once! It saves you from having to try & save that much up too - you cant spend it once it's paid on to the lay-by!
@magnet (2087)
• United States
11 Jun 07
I would simply say no I'm not going to buy that toy today. If I really really want to buy that toy then I would let my child earn the toy. I would give the child a little money to put in his/her piggy bank so that they can save up money so that they can buy it. Your child might just decide that he/she can't afford the toy. That will teach your children the value of money and how to save money. Believe it or not my five year old has been collecting dollars and change from his cousins,aunts,grandparents, and us. I counted his money and he has saved over $200 since his 3rd birthday. I have opened up a child's savings account for him so that he can deposit his money in the bank. When he wants something he has a choice to spend the money or save it and most of the time he will choose to save his money.
@Calais (10900)
• Australia
11 Jun 07
They dont understand the value of the dollar, but they should be taught that they cannot just have what they want when they want. They have to learn that things do cost money and just maybe you dont have enough. Or tell her that if you buy it now, what is santa going to bring her because thats what he was getting.
@castleghost (1304)
• United States
11 Jun 07
My children are old enough to understand about money but I have always just been honest with them if I can't afford to but something that they want. I tell them that I don't have the money right now but I will try to purchase what they want when I can afford to. I think that it is better to just be honest with them from the start because it helps them learn about money and having to learn how to budget your money to get what you want.
@lynboobsy11 (11346)
• Philippines
11 Jun 07
Sometimes it's hard for a mom to say no to a kids and I feel pity of them coz I can afford to give them what they want. I always told my daughters that when they saw what they want and I don't have money to buy for them I just told them to wait for if we some extra money I will try to buy but if we don't have extra money I don't think I can buy it. And sometimes I look for something similar to that toy that are more cheap like barbie my daughter loves barbie but the original barbie cost too much so sometimes I told her if we can't buy original barbie maybe she will like other doll that is like barbie too it is better than I can't buy anything to you at all. And for that she understand what I'm saying.
@bambi_doe (566)
• United States
11 Jun 07
I just explain to my grandson that grandma doesn't have eough money right now and that when she does there may be something else better at the time she does... We just had that discussion the other day... He did take it a little hard at first then I made him look at fathers day cards for grandpa at the dollar store... we did get a toy for a dollar there... he was happy and so was I... He is now saving money for when he is five and wants to go to Disneyworld with grandma... We put all our change and card money into our vacation fund at the bank and that has been a life saver when he asks for that $49.99 high tech game boy whatever...My daughter works at good will and cane get the same toys for cents on the dollar when they come in. I just tell him to wait and mommy can get it at her store. Hugs
@limosonia1 (1560)
• United States
11 Jun 07
Depending on the age of our kids we have handled this different ways. Like with the younger ones sometimes we say ask santa or maybe for your birthday if it is not overly expensive. With the really expensive things we always say we will try but it depends on money that way we are honest and they don't get their hopes up. With our 15 year old we tend to let him know if we can or can't afford it and then try to come up with different ways for him to earn the money that way he knows the value of a dollar.
@yemberzal (301)
• India
11 Jun 07
We must be honest and truthful to kids ,even if they are very young, because the child has faith in his parents and we have to maintain it at any cost. I think children are more wise and they accept the truth more easily. If we deny a toy to kid and do heavy expenditures on other things , he will be hurt.
@jolenegreen (1209)
• United States
11 Jun 07
When they beg for a toy and I cant afford to get it, I usually tell the kids that I cant affod it right now. They are 3 and 2 and my 3 yr old sulks for a few minutes but understands. I feel bad and most times I try to get it for him when I do have money. LOL
@sunshine4 (8709)
• United States
11 Jun 07
I tell my daughter that we can't afford to buy the toy right now. I tell her that she can start saving her money for it, or if it is a big item like a barbie jeep, I would say why don't you put that on your christmas list~ I would only do that if I was planning on getting it for her at christmas. If you look around you might be able to find a used barbie jeep. I bought one last year for $50 and gave it to my daughter for her birthday.
@1qazxsw2 (512)
• Singapore
11 Jun 07
I will tell my 5 yr old that it's too expensive and we can look for an affordable one if he behaves. If he insists and all hell breaks loose, we just ignore him. He will just keep quiet after he knows he will not get what he wants..
• United States
11 Jun 07
My son is 12 years old, and there have been some really slim times in our budget when I was the only one working. So, when we started having to really watch what we bought, and he would see something that he really wanted I had the money talk with him. Then we came up with a plan. I would tell him if he could find the items on the grocery list on sale or if there was a coupon to use, he could have the money that we saved on that item. Then he would save the money and when he had enough, he could buy what he wanted. This worked out great for us. Now, he gets a weekly allowance and seems to understand more about spending, and when to do it and when not to do it. I just always feel that it is better to tell him the truth, rather than fabricate a reason why he can't have the item that he wants.
• Canada
11 Jun 07
I usually tell my children the truth and if it is one of the little one's I explain that Mommy can't buy it now but maybe at another time . They are usually pretty good and know that I will buy it when I can . One of my daughters has her heart set on getting an IPod and she hasn't got one yet because they are just too much . She know's if we had the money we would get one for her so now she is trying to save her own money to get one herself this summer as she has a job and is working for herself now . I have always found the best approach to be better if we are honest with them because we are always asking for honesy from them .
• Thailand
11 Jun 07
I just tell them that-"Mama doesn't have enough money to buy and will give you only if you act good or do good at school and be nice and obedient at home"etc,etc.
• Philippines
11 Jun 07
hello! I will just explain to my child that we cant afford at this time to buy the toy she wants. And tell her that if we can have extra money, I can buy it for her.
@nandans (1161)
• India
11 Jun 07
I think we can make understand the kids by becoming a kid and tell the pros and cons before saying a no.