It never fails to amaze me when one of my little brothers tells me that something is ONLY $100.00. When I was growing up I had to learn the value of a dollar very early. Aside from birthdays and Christmas, I was never just given money. I worked for every cent and my father taught me how to save.
He showed me that an act as simple as picking up dropped pennies will eventually add up. For over a year I picked up change any time I could find it and stored it in a 5 gallon water jug. At the end of the year we sorted and wrapped the change.
Just from my picking up change, we were able to fund a family trip to six flags. The act of working for what you want and saving to get it has always stuck with me and I believe that we have really gotten away from teaching our children those values.
With how unstable things are in the economy we really need for our future to learn what the cost of something really is.
It is not about a stack of paper bills, but more about the time and effort put into making that money and deciding if all of that work is really worth what they are looking to purchase.
This past July, I took a cruise with my wife and her family, including her little brothers. The children had been given a daily budget of $20.00 to use however they wanted. Unfortunately on the Third day as I was passing the candy shop, the youngest brother was arguing with the cashier.
When I went in to see what the problem was, I noticed the gigantic sack of candy on the counter. It was just past noon and he had already gone over his budget.
When I stepped in he was relieved, thinking that I would just pay the difference and he could go on about his day. The look of shock on his face when I told him that I would pay the bill, only IF he repaid me with a day’s yard work, was priceless.
He pleaded that it wasn’t fair and I had to explain to him that it wasn’t fair for me to have to pay for his candy and was even less fair for him to waste the cashier’s time with the argument. After several minutes he reluctantly agreed. He had his candy and a week later I had my yard mowed.
So many of today’s youth feel that they are for some reason entitled to things that they have not worked for.
What lessons are you teaching your children to make them more aware of the real cost of an item and the fulfillment of a hard days work?
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