It's hard to be different sometimes. It's even harder to be different when you are in teenage years.
There is an event coming up that everyone is attending. As far as I know, literally everyone is attending. This past weekend, my child made a very grown up decision not to attend.
I want to state first of all that I absolutely love our school! I really do. But I kind of felt like Raymond from Everybody Loves Raymond in the episode where his daughter's friend has a birthday party that demands the attending girls buy a specific, fancy dress. There is a particular school event that is quite costly. And it is not an event that I would feel comfortable letting my child attend without me. So that would be "quite costly" x 2. And looking to the future, I have four children. So now we are up to 4 x ("quite costly" x 2).
My family of 6 could do the same event for much less than 4 x ("quite costly" x 2). And we could choose which details go in to the event. So somewhere around last spring, I decided that we would not pay for this event. I did tell the children that if they wished to attend the event, they could save up the money themselves. And if they did that, I would pay my share of "quite costly" to attend as a chaperone.
I have had a child working on saving this amount for several months. But, here's the thing . . . I've seen this child when driven by personal motivation. And I wasn't seeing it in this endeavour. Which, as a mother, makes me wonder why the child is working towards this goal? If it isn't a personal goal, then why is it a goal at all? Is it because everyone else is doing it?
This past weekend the hubster and I sat down with said child and had a discussion. We reminded the child that the decision was not ours. But what was the motivation here? And we all sat down and looked at the numbers. There was still a bit of "quite costly" to be saved up in a short amount of time. And with the rate that the child had been earning money, we calculated how much money could be saved by age 16 to buy a car. Or whatever else was a personal dream. So where did this event fall on possibilities of money usage? But it was the child's decision, we did not veto chances for attending the event.
And here's the amazingly awesome part of this whole story . . . my child made an amazingly responsible and difficult decision! My child made a decision that most adults (myself included on occasion) have trouble with - not spending money based on emotion. And that is especially rough when it is teenage emotions for something that everyone else will be doing.
Tonight I am thankful that somewhere along the way my child has grown up and is making very good decisions! There will be many more difficult decisions in life. But if this big one was any indication, this child will do just fine!
P.S. while the event is occurring, my child and I will be doing a few fun things ourselves. And maybe taking out just a little bit of the hard earned money to have some well earned fun!