Thursday, 7 October 2010

I need it

Conversation in the back of my car tonight.

“Hannah, do you know what I’m saving up for?”

“No, what?”

“An Xbox 360”

At this point I interject “Why on earth do you want an Xbox 360?  You’ve got a Wii and a DSi.  When would you play with an Xbox 360?”

“It would stop the other boys picking on me for not having an Xbox 360” and at this I shut up, but am saved by Hannah.

“You just need to ignore those people Ethan” and Hannah went on to demonstrate a wonderful understanding of how to deal with bullies.  And then she went all philosophical.

“And anyway, you don’t need an Xbox 360 you just want an Xbox 360.  There’s a difference between things you need and things you want.”

They then devised a game in which I suggested something and they said whether it was a need or a want.  Here are some of the results:

  • Kitten: want
  • Lawnmower: want
  • Shoes: want
  • Glasses: need
  • Pants: need
  • Haircut: want

I disagreed with lawnmower and shoes. 

The children argued we could just let the grass grow but I said that would make the lawn unusable as a lawn.  Hannah then said “Well you could use scissors” so my very adult response was “Well then you’d need scissors!”

The argument against shoes was that you could use flip flops.  I said that might not be great if it was snowing and they conceded that shoes were a need.  Frankly I thought they could have progressed the want argument by suggesting that flip flops and wellies could serve all footwear needs but as I’d won the argument I didn’t push it further.

The whole discussion was quite reassuring.  No parent wants a spoilt brat and it was great to hear that my children understand the difference between need and want.

I did caveat the conversation by saying that “Mummy needs an iPhone.”

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