J.M. asks from Exeter, NH on January 03, 2009
6 Year Old Son Lost Wallet in Wal-Mart with $25 Gift Card and $25 Cash
I feel very responsible for my 6 year old son losing his wallet in Wal-Mart today. I probably should have been holding it myself. Since he is problaby too young to be carrying that much cash, should I give him some money and set an age where he will be responsible for the wallet when he leaves the house with it.
So What Happened?™
I am responding again to what happened, because today i found his wallet at Wal-Mart. I was shopping, and saw something black under a display, I decided to grab it and see what it was, and yes it was my son's wallet. It had all of his money in it, and his gift cards. I am shocked. He is psyched.
D.S. answers from Boston on January 04, 2009
A hard lesson, more for you. A six year old wants to be resonsible, but isn't. The pockets on my six year old's pants are not adequate to hold a wallet. Any bending, and it comes right out. I would maybe give him some lose change to hold, but not $50.
You need to replace it, and chalk it up to a lesson learned.
M.C. answers from Boston on January 04, 2009
There are some gift cards now that if lost, can be replaced. You should check with wal-mart to see if it can be replaced. You will probably need the gift card number which is on the receipt.
J.P. answers from Portland on January 03, 2009
I'm sorry to hear about your son's loss of wallet. Its a very hard lesson to learn, and I'm sure he's really upset about it. We had a very similar situation happen in our house and I deal with children (much older than your son) in my class constantly losing their money on school fieldtrips etc. since they are so used to having someone handle their money for them.
I would still encourage him to get into a habit of holding on to a wallet, whether there's money in it or not, since its a hard concept to catch on to if its done sporadically. There are high school and college-aged people that haven't fully grasped the concept of money and keeping track of it! LOL!! 6 is a good age to start to be responsible for ALL personal items (not just wallets), especially since he has to be responsible with school papers/book bag/lunch bag daily now that he's in full-time school. I wouldn't allow him to keep all his money in his wallet though, and would perhaps set him a dollar limit in what he can keep in his wallet (like $5) and you keep the rest or he keeps it in a little piggy bank. That way, if he loses his money, it won't be the full amount he has and it wouldn't be such a loss to make you feel like you should replenish it (if he loses it, he loses it...oh well). He can learn to earn back little bits of money he loses by doing some extra chores around the house.
In the current situation with him losing ALL his money and giftcard, it was a learning experience for both you and him, so maybe you could write it off as a "loss" and help him replenish it this time only, with the stipulation that next time, no more than $5 in his wallet. He can also have the option of asking you to hold onto his money, if he feels he's not ready for the responsibility (most kids know when it's too much for them...especially if a big loss happens and they are scared to have it happen again). Depending on your son's maturity, this was a good learning experience and he's ready to make some better choices and take on some new responsibilities of learning about money. Sooner, is always better than later when it comes to money management and responsibility. Good Luck!!
K.T. answers from Boston on January 03, 2009
I was just thinking, do you happen to have the receipt that went with the gift card? Sometimes people enclose them when they give them to you, cause I bet the gift card number is on it and perhaps they could put a stop on it and issue you a new one? Just and idea.... but I'm sure the cash is gone..... lesson learned for him as well, do what you think is right for him..... Good Luck
B.L. answers from Burlington on January 04, 2009
Hi J M. I would, I'd give it to him and explain that you should have held onto it in a big store. I would tell him that it's not his fault he lost it. Just explain to him that he will not always get re-imbursed if he loses money. I hope this helps, didn't mean to sound bossy if I did.
R.H. answers from Boston on January 06, 2009
My 7 year old always loses any $$ he gets too. We put it in his bank for him but he still thinks its a toy. His 9 yr old brother hoards his every penny so it might be an internal thing! I say give him 5 to start off again in his piggy bank and hold all cash out of the house. Whenever something like that happens( even to me) I figure that lessons hardest learned are best remembered. Good luck ;)