My daughter is almost five, and like many girls her age, she’s obsessed with Disney princesses. And thanks to generous family members and Santa, she has quite a few Disney princess dolls. And yet, she wants more! I try very hard not to bring her to Target with me, but some trips, it’s unavoidable.
In an effort to teach her some early financial literacy lessons, I’ve started allowing her to buy the occasional new princess doll with her own money. (With both her birthday and Christmas coming up, I usually tell her to, “Put it on your present list.”) Today she asked to bring her money to Target, and purchase a doll for herself. We counted the money in her piggy bank, all $17.36 of it, and packed most of it into a wallet. I reminded her several times that she didn’t have to buy anything today, and could, in fact, save her money for a doll she has her eye on. (It’s from Target’s version of the American Girl dolls.) Nope, my little consumer had to buy something today. So she chose this:
It’s one of those Magiclip dolls, with the interchangeable dresses. This “set“, also includes a dressing screen, a scepter (it is coronation day, after all!), and a girl-sized ring. It cost $10.69 with tax.
After we left Target, we went to the library to return some DVDs. While there, we sat down to work on a puzzle, and my daughter put Elsa down next to us. At one point, she noticed that her former (and much-loved) babysitter had arrived, and ran over to greet her. We spent quite a while chatting, and suddenly realized that she had left Elsa on the couch where we’d been with the puzzle. After much fruitless searching and checking with the librarians, we realized that someone had probably walked off with Elsa.
I thought for sure my daughter would flip out, but she didn’t. On the walk back to our car, I said, “I’m sorry about what happened to your doll,” and reminded her that it’s important to take care of her belongings. She was unfazed, even when I pointed out that she didn’t have enough money to buy a replacement.
I already knew that she has far too many dolls to really value any of them, but I had hoped that using her own money would make this one more valuable to her. Do I continue this exercise and hopes she gets it, or do I not allow her to
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waste spend her money on more toys she’ll quickly forget? Help!