How I Accidentally Taught My Kids the Value of Counterfeiting

I love being a dad

Matthew Kent


Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

My seven year-old son is obsessed with the Avengers. His favorite movie is Captain America: Civil War.

For a while now he has wanted to travel to Berlin on a Quinjet like they do in the film.

The other day he asked my wife how much a Quinjet costs. Instead of explaining that Quinjets aren’t real, she chose the far superior route of indulging him in his active imagination.

“Let’s ask Google,” she said.

Of course, Quinjets are fictitious, so the question she actually asked was “how much does it cost to buy a jet?”

After some shoddy Google research, the answer we got was $33 million. This knowledge instantly created in my son the ambition to become a mega multimillionaire.

Unbeknownst to me and my wife, our son has been working on this issue in the background. This morning he came to me and told me he had $216 dollars.

I was confused because I knew there was nothing close to that in his piggy bank, but then he held out some little felt rectangles: Play money we use to teach the kids about finances.

“That’s great,” I said. “But dad,” he replied, “I need $33 million to buy a Quinjet.” Having forgotten about the Quinjet I laughed out loud at his ignorance of just how big the gap between $216 and $33 million is.

I suggested that he might just need to barter. The guy says the price is $33 million, you counter with $200. He says your offer is insulting. You come back with $210. He tells you to stop wasting his time. And then you bring out the big guns: $216. Final offer. Maybe he takes it.

This got a smile out of my son, but didn’t satisfy him.

My five year-old daughter reminded him that $216 wasn’t all the money we had, there was a blue $50 somewhere. They didn’t find it, but my son did locate another green single, bringing his total up to $217 and making him squeal with delight.

“Great job,” I said, “you’ll be at a million in no time.” I think he missed the irony.

Since this was just play money anyway, I suggested that he just print some more. He countered that you had…



Matthew Kent

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