When one of my sons was in third grade, the teacher instituted a ticket system. If you did your work and behaved well, you would earn a ticket. Each Friday the kids were allowed to “spend” their tickets at the class store where they could buy pencils, small toys, and even a piece of candy.
My son earned his tickets but wouldn’t spend them.
Thinking that he didn’t understand the concept, his teacher explained that tickets were like money and he could “trade” them in for treats.
My son still wouldn’t spend his tickets.
At home I also tried to explain how it worked. “Sweetheart,” I told him, “this is a reward for being good, you can choose what you want from the store.”
We gave up, maybe he just didn’t “get” how money worked. From the start of school until December, that kid did not spend one ticket. Not one. No toys, no pencils, no candy.
But then on a Friday in early December when he had accrued 85 tickets, he finally went to the class store and he bought his first item.
It was a teddy bear holding a heart over its head that said LOVE.
When he first saw that bear on the table at the class store in September he hatched a plan. He figured out how many tickets he would need and he saved his tickets to buy the teddy bear for me as a Christmas present because he knew I would love it.
And I do. Oh, I so love my baby bear.
Since then – 9 years ago, it wouldn’t be a complete Christmas tree without my LOVE Teddy Bear sitting in its branches reminding me of what tiny miracles children can be.
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
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