Apparently, I am a child abuser, according to a user on Twitter. I am the worst kind of human being on this planet. I have destroyed my daughter’s innocence and robbed her of the joys of being a child. I am also a terrible Christian. I am a villain to be despised and should be extinguished. Just as I am extinguishing the innocence, the wonders of playtime, and happiness of my child. Let me explain, and then you can be the judge.
Three weeks ago, while my wife, and my daughter, and I were attending The Smith Homestead booth at one of the local markets, my daughter saw a handmade wooden kitchen set that a neighboring vendor was selling, and she wanted it. It was $60, and we knew her birthday was coming up, so we came up with a reason not to buy it.
I told her that she should save her birthday money that she always gets and buy it herself if she wanted it. Of course, we bought it that day and set it aside as a birthday present for her, but I wanted to teach her a lesson on responsibility. I mentioned maybe if she did some chores around the house, like cleaning up her room, she could earn money for it.
She thought for a minute, and in my daughters’ typical deep thought manner, she came up with a counter solution. She asked if she could sell stuff like mommy and daddy do to earn money. I thought this was a great idea. Like a lemonade stand from my youth, so I agreed. We went to Hobby Lobby and let her pick out what kind of stuff she wanted to make and sell.
Lip balm, lotion, and jewelry are what she decided on. So, mom and I bought everything she picked out and went home to help her make everything. For those of you that read but do not know, my wife and I sell handmade candles, jewelry, wooden signs, etc., online and at local markets.
This past Saturday was her first day selling her things at the market. We set her up with a table, I made her a jewelry stand, she had her own cash bag, and her table was placed under the canopy right beside ours. She is only seven; after all, we had to keep an eye on her.
Outcomes An Trolls
She made $54 on her first day and was so excited. Honestly, as a dad and small business owner, I was extremely proud of her. Everyone who passed by just fell for those puppy eyes, from the cute little blond girl yelling about her jewelry and lotion to everyone who passed by. At one point early on, she had made more money than us and was rubbing it in a little.
Afterward, we talked about possibly adding a page to our website just for her stuff and letting her sell online. Mom and dad will keep nothing from the sales except the shipping cost, and she gets the rest. My wife, beaming with pride, decided to take a Twitter poll and ask people’s opinions about whether or not we should go through the process of adding her stuff to the website.
It is here that the troll came knocking. Let me quote few: “sounds more like child abuse”, “clearly from the tweet is seems like they care more about showing off the child than raising the kid to be a good happy child seems like they are putting to much pressure on the child at that age… I stand by my first comment “child abuse” this is not a 14 year old but 7″ and my favorite, “kids need to be kids they do not need to be thinking about the pressures of life at that age we are talking about someone 7 not 12 in this conversation it’s insanity.”
Disclaimer: all bad grammar was quoted, not my own.
So, I share this in my blog article this week because I think this highlights one of our failings as a society. Actually, a couple of them. The first is that this person responded out of emotion to one tweet without understanding the larger story and maybe checking some profiles before accusing people of abusing their child. Our society now runs on emotions, even by Christians, and this person claims to be one.
Secondly, it shows where the mentality is in parents these days. I remember being young, 6 and 7, and having the old-fashioned lemonade stand. I was mowing yards by age eight, and I even spent some time picking tobacco when I was 11. I was raised on the knowledge that working for the things I wanted.
In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with a chore list and giving allowances. There is nothing wrong with my daughter wanting to make some stuff and sell it to earn some money for something she wants. I encourage it. Our youth are so conditioned to handouts that it has landed us in a place where calls for socialism are growing louder and louder.
It is why we are in a place where emotions rule, and everyone feels entitled to their wants and desires. I find it crazy that where once parents were teaching kids responsibility, it is now considered child abuse. By making my kid mow the grass because he wants $10 extra for something. For assigning my son the task of picking up the tree branches after the storm and burning them because he wants money for something.
Why is it now child abuse to make your kids work for their desires and earn them, like responsible people? While this troll was concerned with raising a good and happy child, I was concerned with supporting my daughter at something she wanted to do and teaching a lesson on responsibility.
So, you be the judge. Responsible parenting or child abuse?
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