Today I was able to teach my son some valuable lessons, one that nowadays, most people do not teach or were never taught. This is so important during this digital age where money is not as tangible. While I set out to teach him I also learned myself today.
I got my son a piggy bank for Christmas. He is 4 years old and has had the concept of money for some time but not in the value of it. He believes two pieces (a dollar and a quarter) are the same. Ladon had $1.25 in his pocket, he would take it out at times and I smiled at him. He would put it in his pocket. And I would say, yes you know how to keep it safe. Read that again, if you tell your child put it away before you lose it (which is what I heard growing up) most likely they’ll lose it. (Lesson #1, people will meet your expectations.)
As we continue on, Ladon, notices that no one is outside. “There’s no one outside.” He says louder, “How COME THERE”S NO ONE OUTSIDE.” I say I don’t know, they’re busy inside. He says “but it’s BEAUTFIUL outside, well I hope there’s people at dollar general.” (Lesson #2 & #3, appreciate nature/do not judge others)
He walks in and is excited. He runs up to the chips and I gently remind him that he needs to pick something that is a dollar and those chips are $3. (Lesson #4, don’t bail your kids out, I almost said I’ll pay the difference).
He continues to ask what prices everything is, I tell him each patiently. He asks “where are the chips for a dollar?” I take him to the candy aisle and where there’s other snacks for a dollar. He can recognize the number 1; He sees all the price tags say a dollar. He turns and excitedly says “there’s so many things that are a dollar!” (Lesson #5, see the opportunities not the limitations).
He takes his time and settles for a bag of goldfish for one dollar. I then select what I am getting and we go to cash out. As we go, I noticed the cashier is upset. Kicking empty boxes and just not happy. I see my son and he does not seem to notice what is going on he is too happy for his first purchase on his own. (Lesson #6, check yourself, enjoy your moment and do not let others suck you into theirs.)
We get to the register and the cashier, takes his goldfish scans them and takes his money. My son happily hands him a dollar and a quarter. The cashier (a young guy) doesn’t acknowledge my cute four year old and does not even crack a smile. My son, doesn’t even care that he was just handed the item with a receipt because he is too happy to have money back since he handed the cashier 2 pieces and got back four lol. Too happy to see the “rudeness.” I myself keep myself aligned to the joy. I place my things and smile at the cashier. I am not here to judge him or whatever the situation is. I am here to experience my son’s joy, that brings me joy. I give my son a bag and he is all too happy to walk with his bag home just a few blocks away.
A block from the house he says can I run home? Now I don’t if he was anxious to show his grandmother his lot or just anxious to be home. I said sure as I let him run on his own. I remind to look for cars as he crosses. We get in, he takes his gold fish out, sets them on his table then takes his receipt out. He proudly tells his grandma “this is my receipt.” And then he takes his bag to the trash (we recycle them, but hey he cleaned up after himself so that’s a win). (Lesson #7, teaching him independence resulted in responsibility).
The power of that dollar! Some might say “you can’t buy anything with a $1” but I beg to differ. I kept my focus where it mattered. I could have rushed things to be out of the store and be away from the “rude” kid. Today i taught my son many lessons and he taught me some too.
I challenge you to take the time to teach others; teach yourself to stay in a place of joy. There is so much to be mad about but being mad about it does not make it go away. If you want more joy, just look for it, create it and share it.
Choose to see the joy, live in joy and share the joy.
After his purchased I wanted to get a picture but it was so bright out. He said right here, there’s shade.