Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Buying stuff from little kids and rewarding initiative

I have a very big weakness, and my poor husband has become resigned to it. If a child is selling something, I will always buy (as long as it's not TOO expensive). Here are just a few examples:

Let's not forget the giant number of girl scout cookies I bought earlier this year:
and here is the gorgeous chrysanthemum plant I bought from a little girl last month for a school fundraiser
And yesterday I came home with tubs of frozen cookie dough from my colleagues twin daughters for another school fundraiser
Did I ever mention cookies are my greatest weakness?
I also have a policy to NEVER pass by a fundraising carwash or lemonade stand without stopping.

My husband thinks I just have a soft heart for children and can't say no. I do have a soft heart, but that is not why I buy these things. Children have very few opportunities at a young age to build entrepreneurial skills, and I believe that it is important to show them that if they put forth some effort they will reap rewards. 

It also takes a lot of courage for children to approach strangers (with a parent or older sibling hovering nearby of course) and explain what they are selling and why. It also takes a lot of courage for a child to get over his or her shyness and self-consciousness and pour me a cup of lemonade (which I usually take and don't drink because there are floaties in it). I think it is so important to interact with children on this level because it builds confidence, and allows children the opportunity to learn how to interact better with adults. In many conversations, adults take the initiative and asks questions to the children. But when a child has something to sell, they have to be the ones to take charge of the conversation. 

So when I come home with a million balls of frozen cookie dough, I like to think that the child I helped (in this case 2 children) has grown from their interaction with me. Perhaps I've even helped our future economy as the child learned that a little bit of initiative goes a long way. 

Perhaps this is all wishful thinking. But in the meantime, I have lots of cookies to eat and the most beautiful chrysanthemum in the neighborhood to look at.

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