I was just visiting another journal written by an 18-year-old who writes like he’s much older than that, when I ran across mentions of his current job as a grocery checker.
That sent me on a brief trip down memory lane to my first job (as a cashier at K Mart!) and I started recalling those little moments that haven’t left me even after 12 years of being gone from there. It was a fun little trip, but one of those little memories prompted me to make the following note to parents:
DO NOT TEACH YOUR CHILDREN THE VALUE OF MONEY BY HOLDING UP A CHECKOUT LINE!
You know what I mean…those eager parents with their even-more-eager children who present a toy to the cashier followed by a mound of coins that takes twenty minutes (on a good day) to count. I once had to wait for a little girl to count out over fourteen dollars in coins. Unfortunately, most of it was in dimes and nickels.
The people in the line behind this little lesson in economics gave me dirty looks as though I selected these customers to come to my line. The mother, finally realizing the frustration level building behind her, finally stepped in to help the daughter after rushing her along only made matters worse. Naturally, I had to stand there and smile as if nothing was wrong.
Parents, your kids do need to know how quickly saved money will pile up. But I suggest this: get one of those mechanical coin wrappers. Let the kids wrap their money into rolls, then take the rolls to the bank and exchange them for paper money. Then head to the store and let your child spend a portion of that money. In the end, you will have spent much more time with your child, they will have seen the inside of a bank, and the rest of the retail consumer world won’t be hoping your car stalls before it gets out of the parking lot!