On a ride back from an afternoon swim, my 7-year old son wondered out loud how he could have more money. I don’t remember what triggered that thought, but he was determined to come up with a plan.
He immediately thought of selling his old toys, Thomas the Train in particular. I don’t buy my children a lot of toys, so he really has not much to sell. Whatever toys he has and has outgrown are probably either all worn out, or not worth much to anyone anymore.
To get his business juices flowing, I asked him what he liked to do and what he thinks he is good at. He thought for a minute, “I like to read! I can build Legos. I can write comic books.”
Then, I asked him to think of what he is good at that is of value to other people.
As if something just clicked in his head: “I like to ride my bike. I can teach people how to ride bikes!”
When we got home, he asked permission to use the computer to create a flyer for the neighborhood. This is his ad:
I had to tell him that we can’t put up his advertisement, but he can have his sister as his first client.
After a couple of hours of biking on one summer afternoon, he finally has a happy and satisfied customer. I don’t know exactly what he did, but he is taking credit for teaching his shobe (little sister) to ride a bike. It was a quick lesson, I think, because his 5-year old sister was just physically and emotionally ready.
My son is claiming his $10. I think it is money well spent. This project taught him to plan and follow through– he recognized a skill that he could profit from, made a flyer to promote it (was not shy to tell his friends and neighbors that he can teach them to ride), and worked hard (biked beside his sister and cheered her on) for it.
Like a good teacher, he even discussed with me what my daughter needed to do to be a confident biker, and what he can do to help her improve. I didn’t even ask for a parent-teacher conference, he did it on his own!
As I write this, both of them are going around the neighborhood enjoying the fruits of their hard work.
Definitely $10 well spent.