Q: We are doing a spring cleaning in our house and have boxes of toys that our son used when he was younger. We even have a few from my husband and myself when we were kids. We've always donated our items, but our son who is now 16 has been researching how much these toys might be if we sold them on eBay, Etsy, etc. If we do agree to let him do this, we decided that all of it would go into his college fund. However, he would like some of it to be put toward a car. What would be the best way to teach him the value of money in this situation and should we let him have a part of it for a car?
From a reader • We bought our firstborn a car and he never appreciated it. The next two kids worked and saved their money and bought their own cars. Those two took care of their cars and were grateful that we helped to pay their insurance. We learned the hard way that it turns out much better if kids work and save for the bigger priced things that they want. It teaches them to appreciate what they have. I'd say yes, let him have a portion for a car and have him keep saving for the rest. — Jack P. in Dallas
From Jodie Lynn • Your son is definitely right; many older (vintage) toys can potentially be worth quite a bit, especially if they were wildly popular when they were first made.
My niece has been selling vintage toys on Etsy for many years and it's amazing how much money she makes. It is quite time-consuming to research each item as well as doing all of the cleaning, pricing and shipping.
If your son is going to handle most of the responsibility, research, packing the toys for shipment, etc., then as you stated, he should get most or all of the money.
I do agree with the above reader's advice in having kids save their money to be put toward any big ticket purchase as it does help to build responsibility, respect, appreciation and so much more toward the item and themselves.
You could always work out options where a certain percentage of the money goes to both college and another toward a car.
However, if you feel that saving the money for college is more important, then be clear about it so that there are no misunderstandings whatsoever.
CAN YOU HELP?
We have a babysitter that comes in five days a week to watch our two kids. She feeds and plays with them and even takes them to a park that's close by in the stroller. Last Saturday, I took them to the same park and a little boy came over to talk to my children and asked where their mom was. I told him I was their mom and he ran away. It was a bit embarrassing when his mom came over and introduced herself and said that they thought the lady that they always see my kids with was their mom. Pretty soon another mom came over and basically said the same thing. It made me feel guilty that I have to work and someone else is “mothering” my kids. I feel like I should be explaining myself. How have others handled this and should I go into detail about why I have a job and need to work?
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Jodie Lynn is an award-winning parenting columnist, author of five books and mother to three children. She and her family live in Wildwood.