A Lesson In Choices


Tomorrow is my twins’ tenth birthday.

Partly as a cost-saving exercise, an energy-saving exercise (on my part – the days of the big party are gone for me) and a lesson in making financial choices, I gave them a budget to work with.

They would get a sum of money to spend how they wished.

They could spend it all on themselves, all on a party or something in between.

Wow, did it cause some problems for them as they weighed all the options up.

They wanted the things they wanted but they wanted what their friends would give them, too. They didn’t want to offend anyone but their budget wouldn’t stretch to inviting them all without some major trade-offs taking place.

It was a tricky decision.

Negotiations ensued between the two of them – could they put their budgets together for one big rave?


What did they want to achieve? As many gifts and friends as possible.

What would mum and dad provide for free? Hmmm, cake.

You could see the gears whirring, eyes flicking from side to side as their brains processed all the information.

Steam rose from their ears.

Eventually, having weighed everything up, they came to conclusions that they, and we, were happy with – one had a shopping spree and lunch at the mall with a friend while the other went for a sleepover and dinner with his friend.

They planned a joint playdate and cake with a few more.

Good choices within budget and lots of flexibility and choice.

Everybody seems happy, including me especially as the lessons inherent have been extremely valuable.

One of my better ideas.

And boy, based on today’s trip to the mall, next birthday, I’m going to give *myself* a bunch of money to spend just as I like.

That was so cool.

How have you managed your increasingly autonomous kids’ birthdays? Do you still go for the big blowout? And how much choice do you give them? Let me know in the comments!

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