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Bending the Rules

by Michele | September 17th, 2008 | Tweens

My husband and I took two of our children shopping for new school clothes this past weekend.  As they are both middle school students, they both are fashion conscious.  However, I am not willing to spend an exorbidant amount of money on clothing that they will outgrow in a few months.  So, while driving to a local mall, I explained that we could shop at the “cool” stores, but items bought there probably would need to be on sale for us to purchase them.

We decided to shop in the aforementioned cool stores before shopping in less desirable stores.  That handled two issues:  1. It would allow us to see if clothing items they wanted were available at reasonable prices before settling for other items.  2.  It would allow the kids to compare items by price.

At this mall, there were three or four stores at which the kids wanted to shop.  The first store was a complete miss, as neither one found anything in his or her size or at a reasonable price.  The second store was a bigger success.  Both kids found t-shirts in the clearance area.  However, as we live in the northeast, long-sleeved clothing is needed more, and this is where bending the rules comes into play.  My daughter found a beautiful sweater that wasn’t on sale and was more than we typically would spend.  However, she absolutely loved it, and it was well made, so we decided to purchase it.  To keep the score even, our son was given the same freedom, and he excitedly chose a striped dress shirt he had been eyeing longingly.

Some might say that the decision to purchase items that we had said we wouldn’t was overindulgent.  However, I disagree.  It was within our means to purchase these items.  The kids had to follow the reasonable price rule for the rest of their purchases.  What is the harm in that?  If anything, the kids have learned that we follow rules but occasionally allow for exceptions.  Isn’t that how life works?

  1. […] Read about an example of a one-time indulgence on our sister site, Your Parenting Info. […]

  2. Kateedyd says:

    Good Call. I think some parents have forgotten what reasonable spending is and how to teach it to their kids. Sometimes it is better to spend more on something that will last longer but it needs to be taught to them how to do it. With all the designer stuff going on now some kids are just spoiled.

  3. mombloggerJ says:

    I agree with your approach. Teaching your kids the value of a dollar will go a long way in their lives. Also, deciding to buy a slightly more expensive but well-made item is not a crime and makes your daughter feel special, especially when it’s a rare occurrence.

  4. i miss the days when my kids happily accepted the clothes i bought for them!

  5. CreditMom says:

    While I think occasional splurging is fine, a budget is a budget and I feel a better lesson would have been for you to stay within your budget and have your children pay the excess. Children need to learn if they have $10 in their wallets they can’t spend $15 unless they put it on credit and that’s a road you don’t want to travel.

  6. […] also found a non-sale item, which were the “splurge” items.  (See our sister site, Your Parenting Info, to read why we bought these […]

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