Thursday, April 02, 2009

Money, An Easy Sell

The other day, I slapped down a quarter and three pennies on the table in front of my 4.33 year old son and asked him to count it.

"27 cents," he fired back.

"WRONG," and I snatched the money and walked away.

My mother was horrified. How cold, how cruel she insinuated.

Here's the deal I have with Prince C-Nut - every time I get change, I hand it to him. If he can add it up correctly, then he's allowed to keep the money.

For the past 2-3 years my son, like every other kid, has badgered me for candy, toys, or whatever else he fancied in store aisles. And for 2-3 years my response has mostly been the same, "Did you bring your money?" - to which he invariably groans. I believe most parents either simply say "no" or "yes".

Learning about money with my son has not only been really fun - it's a great reinforcement of addition and multiplication AND the foundation of a most important life skill.

I was just contemplating how many millions of parents with kids on the cusp of this level of arithmetic (no matter what their age), simply put the change in their pocket and waste a most *teachable moment*.


Taylor Conant said...


Hopefully you cuffed lil PCN upside the head for his mistake, as well. Never miss an opportunity to put your seedlings in their places!

Pater tyrannus

CaptiousNut said...

I thought you were into *no discipline*?

Are you going to make me dig up that comment of yours?

Taylor Conant said...


Actually, please do. I think if I ever said anything like that you probably disingenuously mischaracterized the point I was trying to make, just as other people like to take a lot of my other nuanced positions on things and twist them around to these "black and white," extremist opinions that don't necessarily reflect the amount of thought and introspection I put into the things I say.

CaptiousNut said...

Here it is.

Taylor Conant said...

God you're intolerable sometimes. Typical C-Nut strawman response. Never said anything about "no rules" and "no yelling." I did specifically mention that I didn't see the point in using physical violence against children, it seems to teach them the wrong lessons.

I made the mistake of trying to have a thoughtful dialog on a subject with you again, and I paid for it, again. Learned my lesson.

That summed up my feelings about your response then, and I'd say it probably best sums up my feelings about your response now.

Though I see you're being sarcastic now because I never said no discipline and I'm obviously engaging in a little sarcasm myself up above.

We never did discuss which "shades of gray" are permissible when it comes to disciplining children...

Question: did my prediction about your creeping unschoolism come true? I feel like there's ample evidence I was right in some of your latest posts about your homeschool habits.

Either way... your blog is going to make a great resource when I have a few tykes of my own to homeschool, both in terms of what to do and what NOT to do! (Like discipline my little animals.... hahaha just kidding)

I hope eventually my money+math instruction of my young son will be so much more impressionable than yours that my son nicknames me "my father, the comissar"... truly iron-fisted of you.

btw, my girlfriend has been researching her homeschool piece and came across some youngster who is starting a "homeschoolers against homeschooling" forum, claiming there are many "traumatized" post-homeschoolers like him who want to spread the word about all the propaganda that's out there in support of homeschooling... I don't know what planet this kid just arrived from because last time I checked homeschooling, though on the up and up, is still mostly looked at as a curious and strange relic of slightly-off people and communities, but it should be interesting to see where this guy has any valid complaints or not.

Michael Davey said...

My kid was helping me with online poker tournaments when he was 9.

Like if I had to go to the store to get him some milk, we would be in touch by cell and he would let me know when we were dealt a playable hand. He went on to place 2nd in a freeroll (on his own) against 1200 players, he had me cash out his $50 winnings and blew it on kid stuff.

Hoping he takes to trading, but I never push it. When he pulls I'm full of advice and suggestions, but otherwise I try to let him gravitate to his own interests; which now appear to be total world domination...shows what a small-timer his old man is.

CaptiousNut said...

Wow! Second out of 1200....pretty impressive.

Though I'm not a poker fan. It's too time intensive.

MD, poker huh?

When I was on the Philly exchange, we always looks askance at those few traders who spent their weekends down at Atlantic City. The rest of us had our fill of gambling Monday through Friday. In our collective opinion, these guys had *problems*!

I think if I had a *do over* I wouldn't become a trader. Ideally, I'd want to create and sell a product that would enhance people's lives in one legitimate way or another. What we do is not immoral, but it's minimally amoral.

And right now I can't very well quit what I do and start *inventing*. I missed my chance. I hadn't the foundation to do it because formal education and a narrow life exposure sapped all of my creativity. And now I have bills, a lifestyle, and a family as superceding priorities. I just don't have the time or energy to change my life's course.

Michael Davey said...

I DO have problems.
...however, when volatility is rocking in the mkt I have zero time and far less interest for poker.