I imagine, like most parents, we give our kids opportunities to earn money doing odd jobs around the house. We encourage hard work and reward it with financial compensation. We’ve even given opportunities to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams by helping them pursue babysitting jobs, painting pet rocks and yard work gigs.
But the other day, our G-man (8 years old) ventured out on his own and imposed a legit “big brother tax” on his little sister. I glanced into the TV room and noticed Willow (6 years old) had her piggy bank on the floor so I asked her about it. She responded “I had to pay G a dollar for a shoe shine.” I said, “Wait, you had to pay him a real dollar for an imaginary shoe shine?” Turns out, the answer was yes.
I was emotionally conflicted at that point. On the one hand, G definitely took advantage of his gullible sister with the big imagination for his financial gain and that is definitely a no-no. On the other hand, as a dad and big brother myself, I was a little proud. In the end, I made him give her the dollar back and we had a talk about how he should not manipulate people and that it is wrong to do what he did. Then I gave him a high-five, in my mind.