I'll just say it: I bribed my daughter to pay her tithing.
Here's how it happened: We were getting ready to go to tithing settlement (a meeting where we sit down with our bishop and tell him whether or not we paid a complete 10% tithe of our income during the year--a prerequisite to attending the temple). We we were getting ready to go with our kids they wondered what on earth we were getting dressed up in church clothes on a Saturday for. We reminded them what tithing was and how Heavenly Father has blessed us with everything that we have and all he asks is that we give him 10% back. We told them that we pay tithing on all the money Mommy and Daddy earn (which isn't much... but back to the story.
This is when the problem started.
Maggie put her chest out and defiantly shouted, "You and Daddy can do that but I won't give Heavenly Father any of my money--I'm saving up for a Wuggle Pet!"
[Side note: Wuggle Pets are cute little stuffed animals created by an evil company that puts their commercials on every other second while Maggie is watching the Magic School Bus on tv making her think that without this little animal that she can bring to life by adding stuffing and sparkles her life is lacking in splendor.]
Well, I don't think its imperative that the 5 and under crowd pay tithing on all the pennies in their piggy banks, though I would certainly support it. But I do have a problem with my child being so greedy with the pennies in her piggy bank that she is bragging about not sharing with God.
So we sat down and talked about it. She screamed and stomped and threw a royal fit, which is basically the way she deals with anything not in her personal agenda. But when she finally listened to me explaining that everything in the world belongs to Heavenly Father and that for every 10 pennies we have, he just wants one, her little heart started to soften. We counted up her money and took out the $.24 that would be tithing, and then I told her that if we help Heavenly Father, he promises to help us.
That's when the bribe just popped out of my mouth. I said, "If you pay your tithing, then I will help you buy a Wuggle Pet." And I did. And when we stuffed it full of stuffing and sparkles, I'll admit it did bring some splendor into our lives.
Is that horrible?