Henry has a field trip coming up this week. They are going to a local park to learn about animals and habitats. I got the permission form two weeks ago. The trip costs $5 to pay for the bus. I went ahead and wrote a check for $10, knowing that field trip money can be a hardship for families sometimes. I didn't mention it to Henry, he just took it to school and turned it in.
I imagine his teacher was tying up loose ends yesterday when she reminded the students about the field trip. She must have mentioned that some kids still needed their permission forms and money. And I'll bet she told her class that if a student didn't have the money, not to worry about it as they would take care of it. That's how I've heard it many times, and said it myself, in fact, when I was teaching.
That's where the email comes in. Apparently, when my sweet son heard that some kids might not be able to pay for the field trip, he went to his backpack and got out his wallet. He pulled out a $20 and gave it to his teacher to "help his friends be able to go on the trip." She was asking my permission to take the money.
After I finished crying, I said of course that was fine with me. It's his money that he has either earned from chores or received as gifts. I put him in charge of it in order to teach his fiscal responsibility. In my head that meant letting him blow all his money on toys and bubble gum so that he could learn to budget at some point.
He takes good care of his wallet. He lost it one time and after that he has kept very good track of things. He understands how lucky he was to get it back! He loves money. I've found it to be the one thing that really motivates him to do things. Even a tiny amount works! I pay him a nickel for each pair of socks that he matches up out of the laundry basket.
He saved up a while ago to buy a r/c monster truck. He's proud of himself for that. I let him handle the whole transaction on his own. His smile afterwards was just precious. He also likes buying gum. He chews it all the time, but not in an annoying way. I don't even notice it most of the time as he's very responsible about it.
I was initially worried about letting a seven year old be in charge of his own wallet. My main concerns were about him losing it or spending it frivolously. And I'm not saying that those things haven't happened. They will likely happen again. However, he's obviously learned something else about helping others along the way!
This post was part of the One Word Blog Linkup hosted by, Janine of Confessions of a Mommyholic, Marica of Blogitudes, and Lisa of The Golden Spoons! This week, the word prompt choices were Sweet & Soon.