The Grocery Store

My wife went out of town for four days and left me with our three wonderful daughters. We kept very busy while mommy was gone but inevitably we had to go to the grocery store. Why do I say inevitably? Well, you see, I am banned from going to the grocery store with my daughters. I am great at saying no to my daughters everywhere except the grocery store. I always come home with more than is on my list because of the prodding or eye batting of my beautiful girls. Mommy was not home so I thought, oh well, we can have a little fun.

I asked the girls what they wanted for lunch and they quickly responded with pop! “I want root beer” was the first answer and the other two quickly responded “me too, me too”. We made our way to the pop aisle to look for the root beer. My oldest daughter mentioned she wanted the root beer in the “itty bitty” cans. (Note: the “itty bitty” cans come in a six pack and each can is 8 ounces.)  So as we searched for and finally found the “itty bitty” cans I noticed their price. I quickly looked up and saw the price of the two liter of the exact same brand of root beer. My financial instincts told me it was “teachin’ time!”

This particular grocery story places the price per ounce on the price label for each product. I asked my oldest daughter to look at the price per ounce of the two liter and then the price per ounce of the “itty bitty” canned root beer. She told me that the two liter was 2.4 cents per ounce and the canned pop was 36.7 cents per ounce.  As she finished telling me the differences in price, (she is 7 years old) I could tell she did not understand the disparity.

Illustrations seem to be the best way to connect with my daughter so I jumped in to the teaching moment to imprint this situation on her ever forming mind.  I asked her to pick up the six pack of “itty bitty” cans and I picked up three 2-liters.  I simply asked her this question, “if you were going to spend $3.00 would you rather have the six “itty bitty” cans in your hands or the three, big 2-liters in daddy’s hands?”  Even at seven years old her response was immediate.  “I would rather have all of the root beer you have daddy!”

I want to leave you with this encouragement.  Spend as much time with your children as possible because teachable moments rarely can be planned, they just happen!

Shane Barkley
Author of Dad Cents
Friday, November 27th, 2009 Uncategorized

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