Several of my friends have written books, but it’s not every day that I get to review one. Truth be told, I was not excited to read the The Opposite of Spoiled, by Ron Lieber. I avoid parenting books in general at this point, because I’m sure that all the damage I’ve already done by not reading enough parenting books is …. irreversible.
I frankly did not want to know that it’s not okay for my child to ask me to order something on Amazon and then beg for next day delivery, because what’s a few more dollars, and who should be expected to wait for a glow in the dark football that shoots out water? I did not want to know that it’s okay for my child to take my phone, and order himself every iteration and spinoff of the House of Hades books because the wait at the library was too onerous? (A House of Hades cookbook? Really Rick Riordan? You need more money? What happened – did your yacht get lonely and need another yacht?) I REALLY did not want to know that it’s okay for my child to have no idea what “onerous” means because he spends too much time paying for episodes of television shows that I have not authorized.
But really, as my children will tell you, and as I have written before, I am a sucker for anything in a glass jar and I secretly wondered if reading this book would allow me to buy three glass jars and label them GIVE, SAVE, and SPEND, even if they collect dust on my window-sill next to all my other glass jars.
Here’s what I learned: First of all, if it’s never too late to change your kids’ diets (Laffy Taffy, be gone with you!), or the way you speak to your children (as it turns out, adolescents do not respond well to sarcasm. Who knew?), then it is also never too late to start talking about money in a way that will make your children more responsible with money — your money, and their money, which is really just your money in their pockets. I also learned that if you are worried about your children being too materialistic, then they probably are not, because materialism is a way you see the world and is really about what you value most. I learned that it is just as important to teach kids about trade offs and saving as it is to teach them how to floss their teeth. Given that there are toothbrushes in this house that are months old, but look like they have never seen a day of use, I am hoping to have more luck with money than I did with teeth.
The nice thing about this book is that it actually tells you where to start.
The first three people to comment on this blog, will receive a copy of this book sent by ME.
And now I must go. I have some jars to label….