Recently my friend Brent shared with me a story about his 11 year old daughter, Taite, He said, “I know you are going to love this story.” He was right.
Taite was given two birthday gift cards to Target. Coupling those with a little additional cash, she was eager to spend her booty on several different items. Accompanied by her dad, she relished her journey around Target, perusing her many choices, carefully collecting coveted items in her cart, and painstakingly keeping a running tab. Fifteen items in all. As the register tape hit the magic $70, Taite was mortified to hear the dreaded words, “And that will be $6.46 tax.” With all the Saturday shoppers lined up behind her, she began the painful process of de-selection. Which of her beloved, coveted and carefully chosen items must be returned to accommodate that darn 9.25% tax? Impatient tapping feet and drumming fingers, shoppers in line watched the tab eek down, finally reaching $63 before tax. “You need just $.54 more.” As Taite rummaged around the bottom of her purse, fishing out penny after nickel, the cashier offered, “Here, I have $.46 in my pocket.” A similar offer came from the lady next in line, and the next and the next. But my friend Brent saw the lesson brewing and rejected their offers. “She’ll take care of it.” The last penny, covered in lint and a few stray hairs, did the trick. $70.46. Taite bought almost all of what she wanted, and it was all with her very own money.
How many lessons were learned at Target that Saturday!
- Sometimes you have to make hard choices
- You don’t always get just what you want
- Your Daddy loves you enough to insist that you take responsibility for yourself…despite your complaints and the groans of the impatient shoppers.
- The easy way out is usually not the best way out, nor does it teach the lesson
- Some kinds of help to children aren’t really helpful in the long run
- Proper parenting doesn’t necessarily lead to a popular review (from your child, other family members, or onlookers)
- Taxes can be taxing
Hopefully, this holiday season you will have the opportunity to teach your children some meaningful lessons..about choices or taxes.