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Children and Money…


My sister had to take my mom to Urgent Care yesterday (lest dad be ever so lonely in having health concerns). I called to ask if they needed company while they waited for test results and they declined but asked if I wouldn’t mind stopping to pick up my six year old nephew who was sitting with them at the hospital.

I loaded my nephew into the back of my car and about 15 minutes into our traffic jammed commute, he started crying. 15 minutes after that, he was sobbing. Sure I understand. Grandma is in the hospital, mom is busy, it’s scary, and he’s tired but…

I have absolutely no idea what to do with a crying kid.

You’d think I’d be experienced at this since I’ve got 11 nieces and nephews, but crying in traffic? No clue.

I gave him my iPod which kept him entertained for 10 minutes, until the battery died. After that, more crying.

We sat in traffic for another 40 minutes until my gas light blinked on. “I’m sorry buddy. I’ve got to stop for gas. We’ll be home soon OK?”


Long drawn out sniffle.

“Can I get candy in the gas store?” he whispered.

“Sure buddy. Anything you want.”

“Can I get TWO candies?” he asked, the tears drying in his excitement.

“Possibly cause diabetes? Contribute to childhood obesity? Sure. Why not?” I replied.

“How about a large soda too?” he asked.

I was willing to buy part ownership in Shell gas station if that’s what it took to make him stop crying.

He picked out the two largest bags of candy, filled up a soda cup the size of his head, and off we went to sit in traffic again. There wasn’t a single tear the rest of the way home and I got a huge ‘Thanks Auntie Beks!!’ with a hug before he left (I didn’t mention the sugar overload to my sister – I value my life far too much).

I can say no to myself all day long but to kids? I’m putty. If this experience is any indication of my future financial and health dealings with my own children… I’m dead.


  • Reply Lynn |

    It will be different with your own children. Its very different being a mother than being a aunt. Congrats BTW! Very exciting news. More income, no more roommates-seems as if things are working out well for you!

  • Reply Maggie |

    You will do fine. The nephew was a one time thing. With your own you’ll realize that you are setting a precedence and learn very quickly to avoid that at all costs. Congrats. The mini catch-up post was in my feed reader but I see it gone now.

  • Reply Shannon |

    It’s different with your own. When you give a kid 2 bags of candy AND a large soda and then you don’t get to drop him off anywhere, you’ll learn real quick how to say NO. Trust me!! LOL Your poor sis was probably cursing you gypsy style last night!! LMAO!! It’s great to be an Aunt, no? 🙂

  • Reply Mar |

    I agree with the others. It’s totally different when it’s YOUR child. You actually have to be responsible! 🙂

    Quick story: Many years ago, I took two nieces, about 4 and 6 years old, for the day and we did a bunch of fun things. The 6 year old looked at me while waiting in line to ride a train at the park and said she wished that I was her mother instead of my sister, because she and I always did fun things together. I was devastated that she felt that way about her Mom and explained that she and I always did fun things because she wasn’t there when I was doing the boring things, like laundry and cleaning and grocery shopping. She thought about it and said that made sense. A grandmother in line behind us looked at me and just nodded her head and quietly said “That was very well done. Nice save.” That’s the difference between being an aunt and a parent.

  • Reply mary kate |

    teach children to stuff feelings with food – hey that’s how we do it around here, too!

    surely you offered him words of comfort and support though, right? I’m hoping you left that part out of your story.

  • Reply Jen |

    I hope your mom is feeling better!!

    From what I’ve seen it’s different when they’re your own children. My mom was very strict with me and my brother, but she’s much more lenient with my nieces. There have been moments when I want to ask, “Who are you and what have you done with my mother?!?!?”

  • Reply Ryal |

    Its all good. We all try and eat well but sometimes its something physical that can make all the difference. Dont sweat it. I like spoiling my family once in a while. Keep up the posts, I check back every day!

  • Reply Lizzie |

    I have four kids, but if I had a friend or relative’s kid that was crying in traffic?

    Trust me, you do what it takes to keep the peace :-).

  • Reply JustWriteACheck |

    Beks – I saw your “other” post in my RSS this morning. Although it seems to have disappeared for now, I wanted to wish you guys Congratulations on the big news! 🙂

    And for someone else’s kid, spoiling with a little (or a lot!) of extra sugar every now and then never hurt…

  • Reply krantcents |

    It is certainly harder to say no, but it will makes it easier later. These difficult times require a plan. We used to give our children a choice between 2 items we felt were good choices. This is less traumatic and they learn how to make choices. It is a good lifeskill to have.

  • Reply Diva |

    Nieces and nephews are the best. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for them. Don’t worry as they get older you get stronger and ensure they make better choices. I was completely the same, giving in at every tear. But now that they are older I’m more strict about food choices.

  • Reply Nicole |

    Sure, the sugar thing was a secret until now! Is that why he was all hyped up? Hey, anytime you have to put up with him in a small space for that long, feel free : ) Thanks for hanging with him even though it was in a car. That was a big help!

  • Reply Jan Swafford |

    I get this so much, but hate to admit it is with my own kids. My two “angels” are 6 & 9 and it had been getting worse as they aged. Did some online digging and came upon a new series of books for k-5 that are working. “Marvels of Money” was the set we bought at Amazon and they did the buy 4 get 1 free deal along w/free shipping. We bit.

    We read together with our 6 year old and our 9 year old is moving through illustrated & text books on his own. We are making a point to discuss over dinner as well (parent tips at back of books). We think we may have caught this just in time:). Good luck

So, what do you think ?