There is no such thing as easy come... a lesson I've tried to teach my kids throughout their lives. I have my days of effectiveness, and other days where I don't do so hot.
One of my days that didn't go over as I had planned, was several years ago when I took the kids to California, and on our way there we stayed in Las Vegas on our way there. As we were walking through Circus Circus I thought I would instill the lesson "GAMBLING = BAD/DEBT/NO MONEY", so I tell them, "This is why you shouldn't gamble" as I threw a quarter into the slot machine. I made $10. "WOW, that was cool", my kids said... "we know where to come if we need to get some money". Great... not exactly the object lesson intended.
Needless to say, my kids have spent a lot more than that $10 on a different sort of gambling: Crane Toy Machines. You know which I'm talking about... the machines that make you move the arm around and then grab the toy and try to get it into the drop box, only to move it JUST enough to be motivated to drop another 50 cents into the machine to move it again. $10 later, you might as well have just gone into the store and bought the thing you were trying to win.
Well, Aspen has been entranced with this machine. She found one at Village Inn when we were there with Grandma and Grandpa Fraser, and it had TONS of stuffed animals in it. Wow! She would stand on the bench next to it and press her face up against the window. After we ate and were leaving the store, she again saw the machine and started crying because we were leaving it. I gathered up Aspen, before the tantrum could progress, as Grandpa fumbled for some change. Ok, ok... so we'll just stay while he tries ONE time, and then we are not wasting anymore time or money on this stupid game. 2 quarters and one grab later, Aspen is walking out with a fuzzy pink bear and grandpa is busting out of his shirt with pride. She thought that was pretty cool... and grandpa was pretty proud of himself as well. Apparently he didn't stop bragging about it to grandma Deb the entire drive home. Lucky, Magic Grandpa.
Now we have to keep kids away from CLAW machines and LAS VEGAS.