Sunday, July 3, 2011

Costly Kids: Lessons for Kids

My family lives in a great area with tons of cultural, natural and entertainment opportunities within 20 miles. Many of these activities can be free to low cost if you utilize the free museum days or purchase a year long membership. We could do something every day of the week if we were so inclined and barely scratch the surface. I try to expose my kids to as much as possible. I hope that some of it sticks or sparks an interest or at least raises their awareness of the world around them. There are some things that I would like to expose them to further: music, art, athletics. and dance. My oldest daughter has started pestering me about taking martial arts classes. When money was a little easier to come by, I would have enrolled her in a class as soon as she indicated an interest. In fact, I did do that more than once. She has taken violin, karate (when she was much younger), gymnastics, yoga, art, science, and probably even more.

Now, that money is budgeted more carefully, I'm hesitant to add another monthly expense to our plate especially with her spotty history of staying committed to any particular thing for long. So this time, we've written up a contract. She has her part of the agreement: attend class weekly, put effort into it, and practice at home at least three times per week. I have my part: pay for the lessons and be supportive by taking her to class and paying attentions so that I can help at home. I think it is important for children to develop a proficiency in something to help develop self confidence. We've been down this road quite a few times. I'm hopeful this time that she'll stick with it and give it her best. It is a significant financial investment that we won't be taking lightly this time around. I hope I can impress upon her the importance of that.

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