Some weeks ago, I arrived in the office to find some elder colleagues engaged in an animated discussion about One Direction. Yes, you read that right. It was the first day of ticket selling for the boy group’s concert in Manila, and the lines were apparently crazy long. One of them shared that an officemate had been queuing since 2 AM, in an effort to buy a ticket for her daughter.
“But the tickets are so expensive,” one of them moaned. “The VIP tickets are around P17,000!”
They went on to discuss whether this was a wise purchase to make. One shared how a child’s friend chose to buy a concert ticket when he was asked to choose between that and an iPad; another talked about how an officemate was able to afford the pricey tickets after her child’s grandparents chipped in.
When I went on Facebook, it was also a popular topic for the day. Some friends expressed disapproval at how some teenage girls cried after failing to score tickets cried (“OA!”, “Brats!”), while others were in disbelief over how expensive the tickets were.
The whole thing made me wonder how I would handle the situation as a parent. My son Sloan is only three years old, but given how he enjoys music (including, yes, One Direction songs), I imagine that he would also ask me to buy him concert tickets in the future. And I cannot imagine myself saying no outright.
The thing is, I know what it’s like to be a fan. I’ve lined up for free tickets to an Ang TV Fans Day and commuted to Cubao to watch the Smokey Mountain. I bought the best tickets to the Eraserheads Reunion Concert, and even flew to Malaysia to catch Jason Mraz live. I saved and spent for these myself, so who am I to say that such devotion to an artist is foolish?
More so when you are young, and music is what your world revolves around. It’s easy for adults to say that they would be better off spending the money on books, clothes, gadgets, or a trip; but when you’re young, you tend to see things differently. You know how we adults sometimes cry when things don’t go according to our plan? The One Direction ticket, or to be specific, the inability to get one, is the equivalent of that for those teenage girls.
So it’s probably not surprising that, on the question of whether I will let my son watch a concert of his future favorite performer or not, my answer is yes, I will. But what needs to be discussed is how much his father and I will shell out for the tickets, considering that we will also need to give him money for food and maybe a concert t-shirt. Maybe we can get him average seats; and then, if he has enough savings or if he can find a way to earn money (maybe as a reward for doing well in school), then he can chip in to get better seats.
Of course, it’s easy for me to say this in theory, and ultimately, it will depend on whether we have the extra cash for such a purchase or not, because I definitely will not resort to borrowing money for this. But, in any case, I see it as a good teaching moment for parents – whether we accommodate their request or prefer to spend the money elsewhere, it’s an opportunity to teach our children a lesson and explain our priorities and decisions. A lesson on saving and handling money is right up there at the top spot, and, depending on how things go, it can either be a lesson of how some things don’t always pan out the way we want them to, or how awesome it is to reap the rewards of hard work and good behavior.
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