Tales of Wisdom: Busy dad snaps when young son asks for $10—but anger soon turns to remorse

Here, we’ve retold a touching story that has been circulating online for years. Hopefully, the tale will remind all parents that “Kids don’t need things. Kids need parents who spend time with them.”

A man returned home late again after a long day at work only to find his 8-year-old son waiting for him at the door.

His son said, “Daddy, may I ask you a question?”

“Yes, sure, what is it?” the father answered.

“Daddy, how much money do you earn an hour?” the boy asked.

Illustration – Getty Images | Ryan McVay

The father got furious. “Why do you ask such a thing? That’s none of your business!”

The boy begged: “Please tell me. I just want to know how much you earn an hour.”

“If you want to know, I make $20.00 an hour,” the father said.

Crestfallen, the boy lowered his head, and muttered, “Oh.” Then, he looked up and said, “Daddy, please lend me $10.00?”

Illustration – Getty Images | Nick Koudis

The father was mad at his son. “If you wanted to know how much I earn so as to borrow money to buy some silly toys, then you should just walk straight into your room and go to bed,” he snapped back at the boy.

“Reflect on your actions. Think about why you’re being so selfish. I work long, hard hours every day and I have no time for your childish games,” the father continued.

Hearing this, the boy silently went to his room and shut the door.

Illustration – Getty Images | Christopher Hopefitch

The father grew angrier as he sat down pondering about his son’s questioning. “How dare he ask such a question?”

An hour went by and the father started to calm down. He regretted being a little too harsh with his son.

“Maybe he really needed to buy something with that $10.00? Moreover, he seldom asked for money,” he thought.

So, the father went to the boy’s room and asked, “Are you asleep son?”

“No, Daddy. I’m still awake,” the boy responded.

Illustration – Getty Images | Christopher Hopefitch

“I’ve been thinking, maybe I was too harsh with you just now,” the father said apologetically. “It’s been a long working day and I directed my frustration on you. Here’s the $10 you wanted.”

The boy immediately sat straight up. He said smilingly, “Thank you daddy!” Then, he pulled out some crumpled bills hidden under his pillow.

The father got mad again when he saw that his son already had money.

Illustration – Getty Images | Daniel Allan

The boy counted his money slowly. When he was done, he looked up at his father.

“Why did you ask for more money if you already have some?” asked the father discontentedly.

“Because I didn’t have enough money. But now, I have enough,” said the boy innocently. “Daddy, now that I have $20, can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow so that we can have dinner together.”

The father was totally crushed by his son’s heartfelt request. He remorsefully placed his arms around the boy and begged for his forgiveness.

Illustration – Getty Images | Kentaroo Tryman

This story may just be a work of fiction, but it’s so true to life!

According to a study commissioned by Huggies Little Swimmers, spending too much time at work when one’s children are young is a parent’s biggest regret. And 63 percent of the 2,000 parents surveyed wish they had participated in more activities with their child.

Hence, live life with no regrets and set aside time for your child each day!

No matter how hectic your life is, keep in mind that money can’t buy time spent with your child. Let your kids know how precious they are to you, not by lavishing them with money or gifts, but through a commitment of time!


Tales of Wisdom aims to highlight important morals, which we feel our readers would benefit from reading. We hope you’ve enjoyed this fable, and do share if you did.

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