Learning to Value Things (Responsibility, Appreciating the efforts and gifts from others)

A week ago, before her playroom transformation, I reached my threshold and lectured her about presents and toys strewn about her playroom.

The theme to my lecture was valuing things. “If you value something, you make the efforts to care for it. You don’t just toss them about!”

Today, the topic resurfaced.

We were heading into Trader Joe’s, and she asked me if she could have a dollar.

Her – “What can I do to help you?”

Me – “That’s a great question? Think about how you can help someone that is worth a dollar.”

The entrepreneur in me sort of wished she would think in bigger terms – that if one dollar was worth a certain amount of help, maybe more help would mean more money. But I let it go. Moments later…

Her – “What about ten dollars?”


Me – “That would require a different level of help. You’d have to do something bigger.”

Her – “I will. What can I do to help?”

Me – “I’ll think about it.”

A minute later…

Her – “What could I help you do for twenty dollars?”

Okay now things were getting out of hand…

Me – “I’ll think about it and let you know later.”

Her – “I want to do the hard thing so I can have twenty dollars!”

I stopped in the veggie section and looked at her

Me – “You better not just waste this money. What are you going to do with it?”

Her – “I won’t!”

Me – “Well, what would you do with it? You’re not just going to waste it on more toys that you play with for two days.”

She paused and then grinned…

Her – “I won’t, Daddy. I will value it.”

Proud and excited, I pulled out a dollar and handed it to her

Her – “What is that for?”

Me – “For being wise.”

Her – “I want to help you so I can make more.”

And, in the car, she asked me what she would have to do to receive thirty dollars. It’s fine. She’s learning that if she wants to receive more she needs to add more value in terms of doing something helpful to a person. But if it’s thirty dollars, it will not be Daddy spoiling her. It will be in exchange for a valuable contribution in our house, and most of it will go straight to her bank account.

Just hoping she doesn’t ask how to get $100. Then again, I do need some trees trimmed around the tennis court…

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