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Rich kid, poor kid

February 1, 2012
 |  by Krista

Rich kid, poor kid

Rob and I had a feeling our results for the “Rich Man – Poor Man” exercise might be atypical for two reasons: our kids don’t get a lot of screen time (no TV at all, occasional videos and computer time), and do get a lot more parent/family time than most.

When we outlined the “rules” for this exercise, the resulting squealing made our kitchen sound like a pig barn! The kids saw it as a total win-win situation. Being both rich and poor was going to be a hoot! Two solid hours of F-U-N!

To accentuate the difference between the haves and have-nots (and to make the “rich kid” feel more alone), we chose to have the rest of the family on an entirely different level of the house.

A good variety of treats was offered, but when it was their turn to be rich, both kids just wanted a handful of jelly beans and mini marshmallows! Go figure. I would have capitalized on that offer w-a-a-a-y more when I was a kid!

Jess was the “rich kid” first. She chose to spend her whole hour watching Shrek down in the rumpus room with her treats and a stuffie for company.

Rob and I hung out with “poor” Ben in the living room playing “20 Questions” (no toys or books allowed). He also wanted to play more of the “Contentedness Challenge” from earlier this lesson. Rob and I decided to spend the last 10 minutes affirming our son by talking about character traits that we were proud of (e.g., “We love the way you look out for younger kids and make sure they stay safe.” “We appreciate how diligent you are in school and like the strong sense of responsibility you show.”) Despite that, he seemed a tad bored and was eager for the hour to be over.

When it was his turn to be the “rich kid,” Ben chose computer time and spent the hour playing math games. He was so engrossed, he didn’t even finish all his marshmallows!

Our computer is on the main floor, so we went back to the rumpus room with Jessica. Her first activity choice was no surprise. “LET’S WRESTLE!” she crowed. It was Mommy and Jess against Daddy. Funny how a five year old managed to “pin” a very fit adult man, but when I tried my best, I didn’t stand a chance! (Maybe because I was laughing too hard?) We also played a bit of the “Contentedness Challenge” and affirmed our girl as well.

After everything was said and done, the final verdicts rolled in. Both kids preferred being “rich” because the screen time was such a treat. Jess didn’t mind being by herself at all, but Ben admitted, “It felt different being alone on the main floor.”

When asked how they would feel about being “rich” for a whole day, Jessica’s eyes shone. “That’d be GREAT! That would be SO much FUN!” Ben hesitated. “I don’t think I’d like to be alone that long.”

I’d still call that one more solid layer on the “contentedness piñata.”

Related Lesson: Contentedness