Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Proud of Princess

For the last two days, Princess and her friends have been running a lemonade stand out in our front yard. They all want to go see the movie "Cars" so they are raising the money by selling sachets and lemonade. And today they reached their goal! They got enough money for admissions for themselves and a chaperone to be determined later.

I'm proud of my little Princess. She earned her own way instead of asking for a handout. She encouraged the other kids to do the same. She organized them and led them to their common goal. And she used her math skills to figure out how much money they needed.

This is a fun age to parent, because they are old enough to make some of their own decisions, but not yet so old that they think you have no useful input for their plans. You have to show respect for their ideas and give them rein to try them out, keep a close enough eye on them that you know exactly what they're doing, but at the same time never let on that you know, and wait for them to tell you what they've done wrong and ask for your advice. The hardest part is letting them make their own mistakes and forge their own path.

I would dearly love to just give Princess the money for her movie admission, and I'm sure the other parents would too. And some of you readers out there are probably saying, "What's the big deal? Just give her the $4.50 and save her the trouble and save yourself the dish washing." But it's so much a better experience for them to earn the money themselves. To see the pride in their eyes, to watch their jubilant screaming as they tote up the money and find it exceeds their goal, to hear them talk about paying their tithing and donating the extra to Primary Children's Hospital, is worth much, much more than $4.50.