Thursday, September 23, 2010
Little Entrepreneurs: Newspaper for Sale
When my Sports Fanatic was around four I tried giving him an allowance. He had to make his bed and put away his laundry. It lasted all of one week. The allowance part anyway. The rest he still does.
I used to have "Mommy Guilt" about the lack of allowances. An allowance is like a right of passage. But over the years, as our family grew, the guilt disappeared (along with half my sanity). There is too much that needs to get done on a daily basis. Even more pressing, there are too many munchkins to hand out money every Friday. The wallet couldn't take it. It would implode.
Thus, I slowly arrived at my current stance. I provided you with a bed. You make it. If you have laundry, that means you are blessed enough to have clothes. You put them away. You will receive much praise for completing these tasks, but not money. This household is about teamwork, we all have to pitch in. Even the dog. She is blessed enough to have a yard, she MUST poop in the back. And she knows it.
Consequently, money has become quite exciting for my kids. They truly appreciate money on their birthdays or $5 from grandma in the mail. Their wallets are busting open at the seams with small bills. When my kids see money their eyes light up like jack-o-lanterns on Halloween Night.
Mine do too by the way.
The munchkins only receive "big" items from Santa, the Easter Bunny or for their birthdays. That's how the cookie crumbles in our house. Although I have always made it clear they are welcome to save their money and buy whatever they desire (within reason, of course). As a result, my Sports Fanatic knew he needed to find a way to save more money. Being "allowance-less" forced him to get creative.
Every Sunday we visit my mom and dad. One Sunday a few years ago, my Sports Fanatic began charging for things. His first scheme was to carry around a wooden box that he so eloquently wrote, "Pay Here" on. He carried it around and told us all to "pay here". While no one knew what they were paying for, it was quite amusing. He made over $10 that day. My little entrepreneur was born.
Last year, my Sports Fanatic upped his game. He began his own sports newspaper, and he is still in business. We all buy it on Sunday mornings during football season. He charges $1.00 for each copy. Most of his articles revolve around NFL games, picking who will win and who will lose. He adds in other news from school, and his own football team. Once the weather and a crossword are in place, he goes to press.
Once I realized this paper was ongoing, I explained to him that people buy a newspaper because they want "information", and we started searching online for sports stats and reading through his sports magazines. He sits at the computer one or two nights each week and types his articles. When he's finished they go to the editor (me), and finally his publisher (my brother, Uncle T). Uncle T makes it into an official newspaper on his computer. Sports Fanatic made over $65.00 last winter entertaining us all with what was news in his world. And his "newspaper business" has instilled a tremendous work ethic in him.
Sometimes, since we have a big family, I feel like the munchkins miss out. We have to be economical, and going anywhere as a family requires a lot of patience and energy. An outing to play mini golf is a special treat. So is buying a pack of gum.
But then I realized that they aren't missing out, they are gaining perspective.
Life offers us so many opportunities to teach our kids. And they will adapt and find their way when need be. We all should be so determined.