Part 1 of a lifelong lesson in parenting.
Its no secret that the last few years have been rough in the Wright household. Its been 3 years of empty bank accounts, moving, changing jobs, finding new jobs, broken down cars, and lots and lots of transition. Its been hard on Dave and I, but sometimes I forget how much harder its been on the kids.
We try to provide them with as much as we can. There is always food on the table (and since I like to cook, I’ll throw in that it is DELICIOUS food on the table!), we are able to take them out for the random trip for ice cream, and we’ve found a movie theater that we can all go to for $20, including popcorn! However, we can’t afford swim or gymnastics lessons, they don’t get new toys every time we go to the store, I don’t buy them cereal anymore (and if I do, its not the expensive sugar they’d prefer), and most of their clothes are gifts from birthdays and Christmas. Overall, we do ok. And they are well loved.
However recently I’ve discovered a major flaw in my parenting. I’ve been much to vocal in front of my oldest about our lacking financial position. She’s decided that its up to her to make some money to help us out.
It.Breaks. My. Heart.
Never for one minute do I want my daughter to feel like our financial position is her responsibility. Never do I want her to feel like we are less because our means our less. I don’t want her to grow up believing that her worth is how much she has available in her bank account.
Which reminds me, Why am I allowing myself to believe that my value comes from my bank account? Why am I teaching my daughter that my value comes from how much money I have? I know so much better than this. I know that my worth is so much more than money. I know that wealth comes from how much I love and am loved by my family. And how much I love and am loved by the Lord.
Through the last few years we’ve seen the Lord work in some truly incredible ways in our lives. We’ve received so many blessings that I’m certain we’re going to run out soon. I’m grateful God doesn’t work that way and that is something I want to teach to my children. Which means I need to be much more vocal about the blessings and much more quiet in my freaking out. (And if you know me well, you know that I am the Queen of freaking out.)
But I think there’s some light in this parental failure. Yesterday in an effort to make homeschooling more fun for us, I bought Selah some watercolor paints and some watercolor paper and some brushes. She had decided that she wanted to sell her artwork. So last night as we were leaving our home and heading to church, she carried her artwork with her. A lady from our building stopped and asked her about her painting and if it was for sale. She said “Yes!” so excitedly. The lady thought she had a dollar in her purse. At this time Dave was trying his best to handle our crazy one and I was walking down the stairs far behind all the rest of them. This kind stranger handed Selah a $20 bill. My eyes were huge (I didn’t know what was going on), Dave was stunned and mentioned that she didn’t have to do that. The lady just smiled, took her picture and went inside. (Side note, I now have to track this woman down and bake her the best cookies in the world) I’ve never seen Selah smile so big. She had made her first sale. She’s determined to sell more.
Here’s where I think it can get fun. She loves to paint and make crafts. So I am going to open her an etsy shop where she can sell her paintings and bracelets and necklaces for $2-4 a piece and make a little money for herself. All of her income will go towards her school and through it she will be taught the importance of tithing and saving. Its a way for us to teach her early on the value of her earned money and hopefully she can avoid making the same mistakes we did when we were young.
My parenting failure has the potential to turn into a really great lesson. For both of us.