Teachable Moments

When you have kids. . . they are everywhere.  Teachable moments.

Our latest topic?  Money.

Charlie and Chanelle were each given $25 dollars for their birthdays.  Usually when they get money we put it in their piggy banks and they never really know (or ask) what happened to it.  This year I wanted to do something different. 

Enter teachable moment.

I want my kids to have an understanding and an appreciation of money.  I want them to understand that the things that they have come at a cost.  I really want to instill in them the importance of saving money as well as giving money.  So, last Friday Charlie, Chanelle and I sat down at the kitchen table and I put their money in front of them.  I told them that they could spend it however they wanted with just one stipulation.  I explained that a small portion of their money will be put in their piggy banks as well as a small portion that they would put in the offering at church.

They. were. thrilled.

Within minutes we were in the car and off to Walmart.  They felt so grown up with $20 in their pockets.  After picking up a few groceries with two giddy children, we headed over to the toy aisle where the kids would make their selections.

Enter Mommy’s teachable moment:  Do not get frozen groceries prior to allowing children pick out toys.

I discovered that Chanelle has that woman gene that can squeeze every penny out of her shopping experience to get the best deal. . .  and she can get it quickly.  She selected a new Ariel crown, an Ariel jewelry set that included a necklace, bracelet and earrings, as well a new doll that came with an abundance of hair accessories and a “working” hair dryer.  She was done in less than five minutes. 

Charlie, on the other hand, took his time.  He evaluated seemingly each item in the toy area.  He chose one thing and then changed his mind and picked up something else.  He studied, thought, processed, picked-up and second guessed for about 1.5 hours until he made his final selections.  (My poor frozen food.) He chose Moon Sand (which I despise) and a ball.  Here they are with their selections. . .

They really did enjoy it and so did I.  The coolest part?  After Charlie picked out his items I told him that he had a few dollars left over and  my little guy decided to buy his sister a ball.

Yeah, that was cool.

These are the moments when I absolutely love being a Mommy.  Teaching them something and hoping that at some point they will get it.  But if I were given the opportunity to take this teaching moment a little further, there is one more thing I would want them to know. 

I’d want them to know that money can only buy you so much.

I would tell them that money can not buy the feeling you get in moments like these. . .

Moments when you sit in the safety of your Daddy’s arms and are only in that moment.  The feeling of comfort that comes with knowing that you are so deeply loved and cared for. . . simply because you are you.  That feeling of contentment that comes by taking a second to sit and enjoy the simple things like a book or the silence or even the breath in your lungs.

No, you can’t buy that.

Oh, and this experience. . .

. . . the pure delight of running outside at the sight of the seasons first snowflakes.  Relishing it, squealing in it, opening your mouth to catch the flakes as they dance slowly through the air.  Noticing it for what it is. . . beautiful.

Nah, that can not be purchased. 

Oh, and this one. . .a million dollars couldn’t buy you this. . .

The beauty of relationship.  Any relationship. . . all relationships.  Brother to sister, daughter to father, son to mother, friend to friend. . . and on and on.  The price tag large enough to hold the value of a genuine, loving, and supportive relationship  between two people does not exist. 

Yes, I want my kids to understand the value of a dollar. . . but even more, I want them to have a quiet knowing that money can’t buy you happiness. 

  • Charbelle - November 9, 2010 - 12:33 pm

    Such a great reminder!! I found it interesting that even so young they both show the traits of guys and girls, guys tend to weigh every option and try to figure out what's best (a lot of guys do this not all) and girls tend to figure it out quickly and figure out what is the best deal and how to stretch a dollar (not all girls but a lot) it's such a neat character study without prompting or coaching this is just how they are. Hopefully your frozen food turned out ok 🙂ReplyCancel

  • SassyTimes - November 9, 2010 - 1:13 pm

    Great job teaching your children the value of a dollar. Being a Finance dork, I can't wait to teach these lessons to my children. We've already started with S (at 2). If only you could, just as effectively, teach adults these important lessons…ReplyCancel

  • Written Permission - November 9, 2010 - 5:08 pm

    What a wonderful family you have. 🙂 I love how each of their personalities came into play while they were shopping! (And I love the look of concentration on Chanelle's face in the reading picture. Ha!)ReplyCancel

  • Charbelle - November 15, 2010 - 1:42 am

    At work I can never see your pictures or hear your music. LOVE the pictures seriously they are just too too cute!!! This last picture of them OH MY WORD, TOO FABULOUS!!!! The music just fits and it's wonderful!!!!ReplyCancel

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