iPod Meeting

Ian and I had our first ever business meeting with our 9-year-old son, Calvin, this week. Cal has been absolutely desperate to get an iPod touch, to which our response so far has been, “No, no and NO.” The three main reasons: It’s expensive, it’s addictive, and kids lose and break things.

But our boy’s frustration was building, and I finally decided we needed to at least give the guy a chance to be heard. I told Calvin we could convene a meeting. He would be allowed to do research and present us with his strongest case. Ian and I would follow up with questions, feedback, and eventually, maybe a decision.

When the meeting time came, Cal stood with his notepad and gave a very passionate, formal, boardroom-style presentation. He seemed to anticipate our concerns. “Now, of course I would only use it after my homework was done. And if there isn’t any homework, maybe I could read for 25 minutes instead, and then get some time on the iPod?”

We grilled him on how and where he intended to use it, how he could guarantee us he would be able to put the thing down, how he would avoid losing or breaking it, and – the clincher -how HE would earn the money to pay for it, all by himself.

Beaten up by all of our son’s convincing arguments and concessions, Ian and I said yes. We agreed to provide him with jobs to earn money over the course of the next several months.

Calvin got a silly grin on his face. Then he immediately went to work, folding clothes, cleaning his room, even making my bed, hoping to earn a couple extra bucks.

None of this went unnoticed by his 6-year-old sister, Clara.

“Mom,” she told me last night at bedtime. “I want to have a meeting.”

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