Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Lost Money, Found a Lesson

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Ugh.  Jada's school participates in Scholastic Book Club, which means every month we get a catalog of books that we can order online and have them shipped to her classroom.  Free shipping plus great deals means we take advantage of this often, whether books for Jada, books for Aaron, or books as gifts for their friends. 

Last Thursday, Jada handed me an order slip signifying that a book shipment had arrived at her school.  She told me she had left the books at school.  Thinking she meant at her desk or in her cubby, and told her to just bring them home the next day. 

When I picked her up the next day, she explained what she meant by leaving them at school: she had left them outside, next to her backpack, to go play, and then when she came inside she grabbed her backpack but forgot the bag of books.  We checked the area and lost-and-found, but to no avail. 

I explained to her that it was a lot of books - about $80-$100 worth - and that that would have to come out of her money.  Since she couldn't quite make sense of what that meant, I told her that it had taken her about a year to accumulate that much money.  That still didn't quite register, but a year's worth of making it up rather than being able to spend it or save it up for Christmas gifts will probably help the lesson sink in.

I realize this is a tough lesson.  You might argue that it's too tough for a seven-year-old, and you might be right.  But my job as Jada's dad is to get her ready for when she's not under my roof.  And out there in the world, one careless mistake can set you back financially by a year or more, or worse.  If the lesson is painful, it is no less a necessary lesson; the pain may even make it more likely that the lesson will set in.  Here's hoping it does.
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