Buy the expensive popcorn.


Being able to bless our kids with a fun night out is just as important as being able to teach them how to enjoy a boring one in. Living large with a large family is all about planning ahead, setting clear expectations, and keeping conversations going. We talk about money often, even with the little kids. We use numbers and point out those who have more and less than we do.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a date night or new shoes for the kids, I tend to space things out. I might reschedule an outing for an upcoming quiet week, or hide a just-purchased outfit for a grumpy afternoon. I try to roll with the punches. As parents, we’re forever battling a sense of entitlement in our children, right? We must pace ourselves. I laugh and groan when I buckle the kids in and start the car, only to hear them arguing about where we’re going for a TWEAT. I want to take them by surprise on a regular basis. I don’t ever want to withhold, but I want my kids to understand the gravity behind the things we do for them. It’s not about the money. It’s about the memories we’re creating, the character we’re attempting to build in each one of our children.

We recently took the three boys to see the Lego movie. We’d waited for the perfect time, and it had been on the calendar for quite some time. In fact, I started talking to Ames about it back in January. Remember my recent holiday post? I’m all about the hype. As I stepped up to the ticket counter, I received a pitch for some sort of frequent movie-goer discount card. I laughed, as it had taken me over a year to collect these tickets through a program at my hospital. Chris & I just aren’t movie theater folks, so I sat on each one until I had enough to take the family. But that’s not the end of this story. This isn’t about that time the family with too many kids finally took those poor children to a movie. We didn’t roll up there with our free tickets, crackers and fruit snacks and water bottles hidden in my purse. Once we got there, we went for it. We upgraded to the 3D film tickets, and we bought the largest popcorns and drinks they had. When it’s time to do it, we do it up right.

Plan it out. Spread it out. Talk it out. Then… go big or go home!

4 thoughts on “Buy the expensive popcorn.”

  1. I love this! My dad taught me a lot about thinking this way. Instead of griping about the cost of a box of candy or pricy parking at an event he would explain that he just thought of the total cost of the experience as worth it. We didn’t do a lot of expensive entertainment, but when we did, we went for it. As a kid, it showed me that my parents liked having fun with us and saw our enjoyment as worthwhile, and as an adult/mom it makes me less begrudging of “how much things cost” and more intentional to plan well and cut loose when it’s time.

  2. I like your approach! Growing up in a big family we rarely went to the movies… but even now as a grown up I always want theater popcorn if we go. I feel like I rarely go to the movies, but when I do go I want to do it right :)

  3. I love this! We try to be the same way. To be good givers of gifts while trying not to lead our children down the road of entitlement.

    The other day, we were in Target, and Adoration fell in love with one of those Mooshka dolls . I told her I would remember that she really liked it. I snuck bought it and am saving it for her Easter “surprise.” I’m always saving and spacing things out too. Also, NOT buying all those junk $1 toys at the entrance every time we go, enables us to do bigger surprises when the time is right!

Comments are closed.