Today (well, it was actually during the August bank holiday weekend) we saw an ice cream van.
Classic quote from Sophia "I'm not going to be an ice cream lady (driving an ice cream van). I'm going to be a normal grown up like you, mummy"
A. No offence intended to those who do drive ice cream vans
B. No idea where she got the idea that I'm a normal grown up.
Anyway, we looked at the ice cream van, we admired the picture on the back and the tune it played, and we all agreed (Soph, JJ and I) that we didn't want to buy an ice cream cos we had lollies in our freezer at home. And that was that, no arguments, no complaints (and actually, by the time we got inside, they'd forgotten all about ice cream and didn't even remember to ask for lollies. I also forgot, so it wasn't an intention omission!)
I threw in the comment "we've got lollies in our freezer and they cost less than buying them at the ice cream van" and they both nodded agreement.
I guess I have two points/tips here.
First, you don't have to do the big spend big treat every time. Don't get me wrong, sure, we've bought from an ice cream van, but as a general rule we don't. I buy cheap lollies or ice pops and we eat those and spend significantly less money
Second, it's ok to tell the kids "no, because that costs a lot of money" or "no, a different option is better value". I could rant about this for ages, and I'm not saying I'm totally right, but I'm so aware of living in an age of entitlement, where kids get everything they want, at the expense of other things. I think it's ok to say no, and explain its for financial reasons. It doesn't have to be all doom and gloom, but it can be in a way that teaches value of money, (not, woe is me, we can't afford that. But look, if we go for this option, it's cheaper/we save money, and we still feel satisfied)