Thursday, October 20, 2011

Finders, Keepers

A few weeks back Libby read a story called "Finders, Keepers" from her reader. (Side note: The Pathway Series of readers is absolutely amazing! If you want to train character qualities in to your children I highly recommend this starts with the First Steps Reader and climbs up from there.)

The story was about a boy who decided the rule was "finders, keepers" when he found the pen that dropped through a hole in his brothers pants. He thought he was something special until he bragged about it that night and his dad asked if he was so sure about the rule. He was confident that it was ok to play by that rule...then his dad pulled his (the confident boy) knife out that he had left on the front porch. The boy wanted it back, but his dad told him that it now belonged to him (the dad) and he was choosing to give it to the brother who had lost the pen.

Libby and I talked a little bit about how each of the boys felt at different points in the story and how the finders, keepers rule compared to the golden rule. It was a good discussion and then we moved on.

Now, mind you, I have always had a bad habit of forgetting to empty my pockets before doing the wash. I have been doing well for awhile, but what with all the company we had at the beginning of the month...I fell back into my old habit...TWICE! The second time it was Libby who found the money in the dryer as she was getting an outfit. She was quite proud of herself for the money she had gained and did quite a bit of bragging about it to me. I kept my mouth shut waiting for her to remember her story...she didn't.

Then, this morning (at least two weeks from the incident) she was excited that she had MORE than she originally thought from "the dryer money I found". I knew that she KNEW that she was wrong to keep the money because she was still not taking ownership of it. I also knew that it was time to gently nudge her in the right direction on how to handle the situation. I asked her if she remembered her "Finders, Keepers" story. Her face immediately fell. I asked how that story compared to our situation. She told me that the rule was wrong, but also defended herself by adding that she didn't know to whom the money belonged (ok, so she didn't use those exact words). I asked her if she had at least TRIED to find the owner, to which she admitted that she hadn't. We talked again about how the finders, keepers rule was wrong. She didn't even make a move toward her money bag so I got up and went to do some housework. I knew, now that I had pushed the envelope, that I had to think of a concrete discipline if she chose to keep the money, but didn't have to worry about that for too long. It was about half an hour later when she came into the laundry room (isn't that ironic?) and said, with a pout on her face, "It's hard to do the right thing," as she handed me the money.

I am so proud of her! She IS IS hard to do the right thing! But she chose to do the right thing anyway. What a lesson that can be to even me!

I am so happy to say that because of the way I handle the kids money some of that money REALLY was hers. So, I was able to commend her on doing the right thing. We talked a little more about the golden rule and how she would have felt if it was her money in the dryer and I had found it and kept it. Then, it was my honor to be able to tell her that PART of that money was hers and she could keep that money in her money bag.

I think that our next task is to set up three jars so she can learn to save and to tithe and then she can spend a little bit of that money as well.

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