The Value of Generosity

The Value of Generosity in Tweens

My tween daughters had their first real foray into consumerism (and the value of generosity) today.

Lakin received a $50 gift card to Toys R Us for her 10th birthday, and she’s been begging us to take her shopping. We’ve been so busy this week that it kept having to be put off, but we were determined to make it a priority today.

After a very productive morning of submitting job applications, printing out resumes and emailing staffing agencies and prospective employers for both of us, and a healthy lunch of peanut butter sandwiches and apple slices for the girls, and cucumber salads (from our garden!) for David and I, we headed out to the toy store.

On the way, Lakin decided that she would give her sister $10 of her gift card. Addah was thrilled and immediately began plotting what she could buy with her money. Visions of craft kits, barbie dolls and Playmobil sets were dancing through her head, and I realized that the child has no real concept of what $10 will buy. I decided to let her learn this lesson for herself.

Lakin was already planning on buying Pokemon cards and “possibly” a Nintendo DS game. This all changed when she walked through the doors of our local Toys R Us. Every item in the store was a potential “must-have” and she couldn’t settle on anything. She was impatient with the rest of us, selfishly (and angrily) wanting to look at only what she wanted to look at, charging from one end of the store to the other in search of that elusive perfect item.

The Value of Generosity in Tweens

Meanwhile, Addah was getting more and more sad and upset, as she realized that she couldn’t afford most of the things that she wanted. Chaos was beginning to take over. We ended up having to call an impromptu meeting to discuss the importance of not spending money on things that you won’t be able to play with for more than an hour, or that won’t hold your interest for more than a day.

In the end, Lakin’s selfishness gave way to incredible generosity. Addah wanted a bright girly basketball quite badly, but she could only afford a plain orange regulation ball for her $10. Out of the blue (and quite uncharacteristically), Lakin offered to pay for half of the more expensive ball, so that her sister would still have money to buy candy at the register.

She spent the rest of her money on exactly what she originally came in to buy: a new DS game, Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia, and Pokemon cards, one pack for herself, one pack for her sister. At the register, they each picked out a candy bar, and with only $3 left to spend, she insisted that she and Addah each get a bottled water.

It was really an amazing thing to watch. Lakin, who is usually so argumentative and downright selfish about her time and her things, gave willingly to her little sister, who, in turn, was very thankful and humbled by her sister’s gift.

Maybe these kids are listening to us after all, even when we are certain they aren’t hearing the lessons we teach.

The Value of Generosity in Tweens
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
The following two tabs change content below.
I'm Heather, a married mama of two teen girls, a stillborn baby girl (7/1/12), and a sweet and wild preschool girl (4/2/14). I've been blogging at The Destiny Manifest since 2001. I like to write about appreciating all of the beautiful little things that surround us, particularly in the face of grief, infant loss and mental health issues. Every day is an adventure!

Latest posts by Heather O. (see all)

  • Phases of Me

    Now THAT is what I call a parenting victory! I think it’s normal for kids to be selfish to an extent, and most of them grow out of it. They just have to do it on their own terms. My little brother is like that. He’s still selfish in some ways, but he’s generous in others now.

  • It’s definitely a step in the right direction, and that gives me hope! 🙂

  • Elizabeth

    That’s wonderful heather! Rowan’s first “gift” to someone eles with her “own” money was to her bus driver – who of course had no idea that she was getting such a special little plastic giraffe 😉

  • It’s the thought that counts… hopefully that bus driver realized the value and the sweetness behind that little plastic giraffe!

  • It is such a breath of fresh air when our kids show they have taken in some of the lessons we have shared! What a delightfully encouraging moment!

  • Lisa Howard

    Such a sweet story! And what a proud mommy moment!

  • Such a sweet sister, I know you were proud! My son always surprises me when he gets money for his birthday…he never fails to buy his sister something. That always makes me happy 🙂

  • This is so very sweet. It is a blessing to have daughters who love each other like that.

  • That is so sweet! How wonderful that your children are so caring with each other! Every once in a blue moon my kids do something generous for one another that surprises me, but I wish it happened more often! Visiting from the Going Green – Recycle Your Old Blog Posts!