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Can We Please Stop Celebrating When Kids Do Bad Things?

I’m sure by now you’ve heard the story about the six year using her mom’s finger print to buy $250 worth of Pokémon paraphernalia off Amazon, right?

A little Christmas gift to herself shall we say.

It’s been making the rounds on Facebook via blog posts from several of the go to guys, and she’s being touted as genius, sweet, even a “hero“.

I however have one very HUGE question about all this….

Why, exactly, are we celebrating this child?

I'm sure by now you've heard the story about the six year using her mom's finger print to buy $250 worth of Pokémon paraphernalia off Amazon, right?

Can We Please Stop Celebrating When Kids Do Bad Things?

What she did was theft. She spent her parents money without their consent. This most probably was innocent enought, I mean she’s six.

Did she know she was spending real money? Probably not.

But that’s exactly what she did. Instead of sitting her down and explaining that what she did was wrong, and why it was wrong, they laughed it off, got national positive media attention, and gave her (GAVE HER) what they could not return for Christmas.

I'm sure by now you've heard the story about the six year using her mom's finger print to buy $250 worth of Pokémon paraphernalia off Amazon, right?

I’m not saying that she’s a bad child, what I am saying is that in a world where money can be spent with the touch of a finger (literally) our children need to be taught that it still has value, that it still belongs to someone, and that if it’s not theirs they can’t have it.

Period.

And while I’m at it, that it’s still freaking MONEY.

I'm sure by now you've heard the story about the six year using her mom's finger print to buy $250 worth of Pokémon paraphernalia off Amazon, right?

I have had one kid spend money on apps when I thought that in-app purchases were restricted on their phone.

I have had another get passwords and use them without permission.

I either heard, “I didn’t think it was real money I was spending” or “I didn’t think I had spent that much” (you can read read that one as “I thought I had spent little enough you wouldn’t notice”. Ya, no. Mommy noticed).

I'm sure by now you've heard the story about the six year using her mom's finger print to buy $250 worth of Pokémon paraphernalia off Amazon, right?

Each time there were consequences.

Each time the child was taught that the money that was spent was very real and now we don’t have it to spend on x, y or z.

Not only that, but when you take something that’s not yours it has a name. Stealing. And you know what? My kids never did it again.

I'm sure by now you've heard the story about the six year using her mom's finger print to buy $250 worth of Pokémon paraphernalia off Amazon, right?

We need to change how we teach our children about money as the ways we spend it have changed.

Ask yourself, when was the last time I held $100 cash in my hands to make a purchase.

I'm sure by now you've heard the story about the six year using her mom's finger print to buy $250 worth of Pokémon paraphernalia off Amazon, right?

When was the last time my child saw me spend $100 cash, or even was aware of how much what I just purchased cost?

How often has my kid seen me use some other form of payment for that same $100.  

Is the $100 cash worth more than the $100 spent electronically? No.

But to a child who never sees the cash the money is valueless until they are taught otherwise.

I'm sure by now you've heard the story about the six year using her mom's finger print to buy $250 worth of Pokémon paraphernalia off Amazon, right?

Rewarding a 6 year old for doing this, for spending someone else’s money, without permission, and without care about the value of what was spent is going to lead to very real problems as she grows.  

This isn’t cute.

This isn’t funny.

This was theft.

This was the modern version of taking bubble gum (very expensive bubble gum) from the local corner store and mom and dad should have made her take it back.

Or, at very least, not given it to her as Christmas.

I'm sure by now you've heard the story about the six year using her mom's finger print to buy $250 worth of Pokémon paraphernalia off Amazon, right?
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Beth

Monday 16th of January 2017

Very good points. I haven't seen that story, but it's important to teach children about fiscal responsibility. They could have offered to let her "pay off" the excess toys herself by doing chores in exchange for cash and taught her about debt. Lots of kids can use that lesson to prepare them for, say, their first credit card.

Margaret Robinson

Tuesday 3rd of January 2017

This is a wonderful post and you've got what is lacking in the other parents - common sense. They also seem to have lost their way and thinking getting on the web with this stunt was perhaps better than disciplining their child. Very sad.

Happy New Year and continue the great posts (on everything).

Melinda Mitchell

Monday 2nd of January 2017

I think I love you!! I love this whole article! And totally agree with EVERY.WORD. Thank you! Inspire Me Monday

karen farrell

Sunday 1st of January 2017

The things that could not be returned...I would have taken her to a childrens' home in my area and made her donate them to needy children. No way would she have been allowed to keep any of it, much less been given it as a "gift". As for the money she stole to make the purchase to begin with, she would have been doing mega chores to pay me back that stolen money!! Responsibility and consequences for your actions (good or bad)...It's never to early to teach that!!