Friday, December 21, 2007

Indulge a proud mother as I brag....

Yesterday my sons (aged 16 and 14) got an Xbox 360. "So what?" I hear you say. I'm glad you asked!

They had had a PS2 for some time, but decided between them that they wanted the Xbox instead (I raised my voice for a Wii, but got shouted down... sigh). Between them, they planned what they could sell (the PS2 and all the associated games for a start), how much that would net and how they would raise the balance. They shopped around for the best price they could get for the various items they wanted to sell and negotiated deals. They lived frugally so that they could contribute as much as possible from their allowance. They scrimped and saved the earnings from their paper rounds. My younger son even went without topping up the airtime for his phone, and has spent at least a month on an "incoming calls only" basis. They decided that they could make this their Christmas gift to each other, and added the money saved that way to the pot as well.

For several years (at least five), my elder son has been plying his trade as the family masseur (he has a natural skill that he has been honing over the years). The income from this enterprise has also been diverted to the Xbox fund over the past few months.

One particularly clever thing they did (in my - ahem - unbiased view) was to check the deals on the console at each of the shops in the centre, and to offset those against what each of those shops would give them for the pre-owned games that they hadn't already sold to friends. This was because the stores would give them vouchers for their games, rather than cash, so they would pretty much be tied in to performing both transactions at the same store.

Never once did they argue about it, in spite of the fact that they discussed it often and earnestly, at great length, over a period of several weeks. The fact that they were contributing unequal amounts was never an issue (since my elder son has a bigger paper round than my younger son, he earns more). Never once did they ask us for money. They didn't even ask us for advice, although they proudly kept us up to date with their progress and the mounting total in the tupperware container.

Yesterday, they finally reached the magic number. They went straight from school to the centre under their own steam. From there, they went home and set up the console. When I arrived home, they were hard at play (Halo 3, in case you're interested). Neither of them had done their chores, but I was so proud of them I left them to play. They had earned their reward and then some!

Every time I think about it, I think of yet another learning outcome from the whole exercise.

Tell me I don't have reason to be proud of my enterprising young men!


Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher said...

Hey! That is wonderful. Hey, maybe I'll let my child play xbox live if yours are on and we can set something up.

Anonymous said...

Vicki: that would be great, except they can't go online with it yet - they couldn't afford the additional drive. That's the next project.

Anonymous said...

Every once in awhile you can look in the mirror and see the efforts of motherhood pay dividends. There's a little twinkle in the eye. A smile. Pat yourself on the back, you're raising independent, enterprising kids.

Unknown said...

this is so cute, I just made my son read it. Hugs and thanks for sharing.