Monday, October 20, 2008

They Really DO Love Each Other!

Now that I have my own children, I am truly grateful for my parents' ability to raise highly independent people. My siblings and I are all great problem solvers, go-getters, and have the ability to make confident decisions. In an attempt to follow in their footsteps, I made a decision to give my daughter a dollar on the days I drop her off at dance class. I used to send a snack with her since she has two classes in a row, but I decided some early financial lessons would be good.

The first day I gave her two dollars. I told her she could use one dollar in the juice machine and the other in the snack machine. After class she was excited to tell me about her healthy choices! She also moved to give me her change. I told her she could keep the change. I got an excited thank-you-mommy, and we went home.

The next week I only gave her one dollar. It was cute to watch her try and figure out why she was only given one.

"I don't get two dollars? I can't get a snack with my drink?"
"You can choose to get a drink out of the machine, but the dance studio does have a water fountain. If you drink water you can save your money and get a snack. You get to decide."
"If I get a drink I won't have any change, but sometimes I am thirsty for something better than water."
"You decide. It's okay to pick the drink if you want it. It is one of those decisions that is just a choice."

She wasn't thrilled with the idea of a choice, but she said thank you and off she went. I was excited to find she was choosing to buy snacks. I was even MORE proud the day she came back to the car after class with both a juice and a granola bar.

"Both? How did you manage to get both?"
"When I get pop tarts I only get 15 cents in change. When I get granola bars I get 40 cents change. I have been saving my change and today I had enough for both a drink AND a snack. Granola bars are healthier anyway."

My 8 year old is a genius!

But the best day ever? Hip hop class. Normally I don't send snack money on Hip hop day. Ryan makes breakfast on Saturdays so their tummies are usually plenty full. However one day we were rushed through breakfast to get out the door. I sent one dollar with each kid and went to run an errand. As I pulled away I could hear my daughter teaching her brother - " . . . but if you choose to drink water from the fountain . . . "

When the kids got back in the car I got a full report - my daughter picked her granola bar; my son picked what he thought were peanut butter crackers. What he ended up with - cheese on cheese crackers. He loathes cheese on cheese. I can only imagine the melt down that could have happened.

"I told him not to be upset. I gave him my change and told him to use his change and he would have enough to pick something else."
"Yeah mom, she gave me her change and so I got a chocolate bar."
"And since I gave him my change, he shared his candy with me mom!"
"Don't worry, I didn't waste the crackers. I kept them. Do you want me to give them to the babies?"


It was such a great mommy moment. I should call and tell my mom . . .


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