We’ve had the same little refrigerator since we moved into our house 5 years ago. It wasn’t the newest, or the most modern, or even all that big…but it worked great. However, every shelf, drawer, and door piece is now broken. For the last 3 years the inside has been literally held together with duct tape. Today we finally went to look at refrigerators at the Sears Outlet Store.
In the past, this is exactly the sort of errand I would have planned while the girls were away at school. The last thing I would have wanted would have been to drag my kids through a discount appliance store in the middle of the day. But by viewing this as an educational opportunity to include the girls in, rather than an errand that they were “intruding” upon, my attitude improved and my expectations shifted.
Yes, there were moments as they ran through the aisles trying to open all of the refrigerator doors that I would have liked to be there by myself. But most of the time it was fun answering their questions about how refrigerators work, why the refrigerators were discounted, and how to figure out which one best suited our needs. We measured, calculated, and discussed our budget.
The girls LOVE being part of these decisions. While Josh and I obviously have the final word, we value their opinions. When Josh speaks to them, it sounds as if he is speaking to other adults. He doesn’t laugh at their ideas.
I hope that involving the girls in our family decisions will make them confident adults when it comes time for them to do the same with their own families. Looking back, many of our big decisions have included the girls. Our last car purchase was made with the girls along. When we bought our first home we looked at every single house all together, and when it came time to make an offer, Sera’s little heart spoke into that process:
“I want the house with a climbing tree! I think this is a good one for us.”
After we got back from Sears, the girls spent the entire afternoon in the “climbing tree.” This house has been a very good one for us indeed.
Later in the day Amelie got out the cash register and used coins to help figure out some math problems. Sera began to process the information she recorded while studying Meerkats at the zoo.
But I think most of the learning happened between the aisles at Sears…and the branches of the Dogwood tree.
Subjects covered today: Math, Economics, Finance, Technology, Nature