As my son is playing on his video game system this morning and as part of the game he earns coins (yes, I know I should have him do something to feed his brain – but I will use the hand-eye coordination argument). He can use those coins to “buy” upgrades to his character. He could keep a percentage in the bank and build wealth, but in a video game, what fun is that?
His video game is teaching instant gratification. It is hard to teach financial discipline when he get what he wants in the game – and that item helps him perform better. Claude Hamilton and others talk about delayed gratification and how, although difficult at first, it provides a greater satisfaction. And, more importantly, builds wealth.
“The Richest Man in Babylon” is a book about how to build financial wealth (it is written as a story which makes it a quick read). Although it was written in the 1920’s it is still very relevant today. The principles presented in that book are something I want to instill in my boys. But, overcoming the influence of the video game will be hard.
So, the question is – which is more important their hand-eye coordination and having an electronic babysitter or me being a Dad and spending time with my boys while teaching them principles to be financially sound. The choice is easy, the follow through, however, is difficult. Unless . . . I make them put their games down, that is the first step
He just informed me that he has 4105 coins and “can buy anything in the shop.” He hasn’t yet. Maybe some lessons are getting through.