If is Not That Big

If, if, if.. I’m sure we have all heard the saying that if is the biggest word in the English language. If is a word of second thoughts daydreams, wonder, and lego.

BR, my 8-year-old has become obsessed with lottery tickets. I know, I know that is not a good thing for a child. It has been the subject of arguments between, he and I, he and his mother, and my wife and I. I’d like to blame my wife for turning our son into a compulsive gambler. Why do I want to blame her – you may be wondering? Well, I believe it is true to an extent. She also enjoys playing the lottery. He has seen her play, asked about what she was doing, and begged to scratch off the ticket himself. Experiencing the thrill of victory even if it is for as little as two dollars sends his little body into a frenzy of excitement. I have to admit that part is cute. However, I have to acknowledge my role in creating the gambler as well. I don’t go in for the scratch offs – I’m into Mega Millions. I dream of fortunes. My son has noted these dreams – not getting my complete lack of expectation – and has fed off of it. While he does not enjoy playing this form of the lottery, he does share the dream.

My wife and I have discussed what to do about our little Jimmy the Greek. Unfortunately, we are not completely on the same page as to the extent of the problem (must be shocking to all of you who have perfect marriages – completely in sync with each other). However, we do agree and are working to curb BR’s enthusiasm for the lottery. I suppose you could say he is on a multistep program designed to wean him of his obsession.

Most people who play the lottery dream of the ensuing riches. What would I do? Hmmm. Well, I asked BR what would he want to do with his lottery winnings? His first answer is buy Lego sets. Now, that’s an 8-year-old response. He goes on to add to his list an i-pad and i-pod. Now, that’s an 8-year-old’s response in 2012.

SJ, my 5-year-old, is not obsessed with the lottery. Shew, that’s a relief. However, he dreams of treasure. Before our vacation, he mentioned to me that he was excited to dig on the beach with the hopes of finding a treasure. When asked what he hoped to find in the treasure, his answer was Thomas Trains and Lego Duplo. Now, that’s a 5-year-old response. His next answer was money which he said he would give to the poor people and buy Thomas Trains.

So, my boys dream of ifs. They want toys, technology, etc. I am fine with that. However, I don’t want them to rely on ifs like the lottery and lost treasure to fulfill their dreams. Go to school, gain knowledge, and work hard – that is a recipe for reaching many ifs.