Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Tough Lesson

Beth gets paid three times a month, but she seems to be out of money a lot. She loves to buy CD's and DVD's and batteries and headbands and notebooks.... it's hard to get her to spend her money on things that last. Diana likes to take her to the zoo or the movies, but too often her money is already spent. We're working on this.

Last week the girls went shopping. Beth, Sharaya, Diana and Allison all spent the day at the mall. We told Beth how much she had to spend in order to have money left over for Sunday and Tuesday. (Church and bowling.) She didn't care. She spent her last little bit on lunch and later, a soda. Sharaya and Diana told her that she had only enough left for breakfast on Sunday (she likes to get a drink and a muffin at the coffee shop at church) OR to go bowling on Tuesday. She was gonna have to choose.

Sunday came and Beth came to our classroom with her drink and in her purse she had a Sprite and two small candy bars. (For later that afternoon.) She had already eaten a muffin.

"Beth you spent your money on breakfast today?"


"What do you mean, No?"

She pulled out her $10 bill.

"Beth how did you pay for that?"

"I dunno."

Diana tells me that she only gave the cashier $1 yet walked away with all this stuff!!

So we gathered it all up and back upstairs we went. When I spoke with the cashier she said someone in line behind Beth had paid for it. When I asked who, she said they wanted to remain anonymous. I understand the giving heart but this was one time I wished no one had paid.

I took Beth aside and told her that the Lord had provided this for her, but she was not going bowling on Tuesday. I said that she needed to choose between bowling and breakfast and she chose breakfast. It didn't matter how it was paid, she made her choice. I also told her that she wasn't in trouble, I was just trying to explain that she chose breakfast and breakfast was okay. Breakfast was a good choice. But she needed to remember that she chose that over bowling.

I gave her back her stuff and she took off, walking very fast back to the classroom. She wasn't very happy.

Tuesday came... and she was fine! She even did a bunch of chores around the house, with a good attitude! I hope it was a tough lesson.... learned!


Kristin said...

That was a toughy.
Max is a thrower and a drawer emptier. My stepmom is always asking me, "Don't you discipline him?" Ha. If only teaching lessons were that easy (and he's 2)! Good teaching!

Adelaide Dupont said...

The lesson I learnt from this post was probably the distinction between kindness and service.

Anonymous said...

What about using some Dave Ramsey methods to help? Splitting up money into designated envelopes, so when the envelope is empty, she knows there's no more's working for our marriage, maybe it would work?

Melissa said...

Good for you! I am sorry that it's hard, but I truly believe that we short change our kids when we don't allow consequences to effect them. I believe that you honored God and helped her to see that we make choices everyday that can change our futures.
I liked the idea about the envelopes! That's a good and tangible way to see that when the money's gone.. it's gone!