I took my daughter (miss14) shopping the other day, she's been hounding me for weeks to go and buy summer clothes but as there was no sign of the sun and not a lot of money in the bank I resisted until I couldn't take the nagging anymore.
So we went to the local shopping centre. It was a miserable day but the shops were still packed with optimistic customers buying all their summer gear.
Having 4 children that never stop growing (I'm sure there's some sort of growth hormone added to food nowadays) I thought it was best to get a few bits for all of them, just incase it did suddenly get hot...unlikely!
Filling my basket with t-shirts, shorts, dresses, swimwear and sunglasses for miss10 and mr8 I was forgetting all about the child with me and she wasn't too impressed. Miss14 got a maxi skirt with a vest top and a dress but when I said it's time to go to the till and pay she started sulking. I explained that I would have to endure that embarrassing moment of telling the cashier to take some things off because I don't have enough money to pay for it, but kids don't seem to care where the money comes from when they want things!
After getting home and still with a long list of stuff she wanted, miss14 decided that her dad and I should choose an 'Offspring of the month'.
The idea is whoever does the most chores, makes hot drinks, keeps their room clean and is the best behaved should be treated to something they want, ie a shopping trip or a computer game. And with the mention of a computer game mr8 comes running in the room with an inquisitive look on his face asking who's getting a new computer game?
Now she knows being the eldest daughter of the house (as was I) that it's only inevitable that you are going to do the most in the house, it's always the way, isn't it? So this is her way of getting new clothes every month.
I personally think all my children get their fair share of things they want (they would probably disagree) and they all have to earn it in their own way, but if I were to adopt this reward system my poor sons would never get anything!
Miss14 may just have to wait a while for her next shopping spree.