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My daughter is in Kindergarten and they are having a book fair this week.  Yesterday she asked me for money so she could buy some books, I told her that I didn't have any cash and that I would go to the bank so she could have some money the next day (thursday). She said ok. I gave her $10 for her lunch money and told her to be sure to give it to her teacher because it was for lunch. She again said ok. I always give her lunch money to her and she gives it to her teacher, no problem. Well, she comes home from school yesterday and while I'm checking her backpack I find several books and pencils and a book mark. So I ask her where they came from. She says "oh, I bought them at the book fair". I asked her where she got the money and she tells me that she used her lunch money.  I said "why did you do that" She says because she didn't want to eat luch she wanted to buy some books.
Well, I explained to her that what she did was wrong, that I'm glad she likes to read and buy books, but it was still wrong. So I took her stuff away from her and told her she would have to earn them back. I also made her take her own money to pay for yesterday and todays lunch. Lunch is only $1 a day, so it was only $2. She started crying and hollering about how it wasn't fair and how mean I am and she doesn't like me anymore. Oh well, what's new????
Her dad tells me that she is just a little girl and I should overlook it, but I think that's what's wrong with older kids now, too many people have overlooked too many things for too long. She needs to learn now that we don't always get what we want when we want them.  I had every intention of giving her money today, but I didn't because of what she did yesterday. My son and I have both had the flu this week so I haven't had a chance to go to the bank, that's why I didn't have the cash yesterday and I couldn't go to the school and write a check while I was sick.
Anyway, sorry this is so long, I am just really frustrated.
by on Mar. 1, 2007 at 9:36 AM
Replies (11-16):
by on Mar. 1, 2007 at 2:57 PM

Quoting draggonette:

You are absolutely right in letting her know that what she did was wrong. Personally I would of only given her one consequences for her actions at that age. Like making her earn the items she bought OR making her pay for her lunches but maybe not both. At that age they like to show some independence so maybe letting her chose which consequence of the two would help avoid the upset. Sometimes too many consequences can be overwhelming which can bring about frustrated reactions from little ones still learning what's acceptable.
I agree with this 100%. I have 4 children and at the age of Kindergarten there are many things they don't understand.  Frustration happens quickly at this age as they are bombarded with outside influences every time they turn around.  While I agree that you have taught your DD a valuable lesson, I also agree with what draggonette says; 1 consequence is enough at her age, thought I would not have given her a choice. She had already made a choice and that was to use her lunch money for other things.  If this were to happen to a 4th or 5th grader, then I would have enforced both consequences.

Perhaps in the future you can send in a check in an envelope, clearly stating what the money is for (and having the memo portion filled out as well so an adult looking would know what it was for). I know at our school, the Kindergarteners all have a designated folder that goes to and from school each day. In it, the children put their lunch money (which has to come in a sealed envelope), notes to teachers, field trip monies (also in a sealed envelope) etc... The teachers then collect all the folders first thing in the morning and separate out monies, notes, (you get the idea). 

Perhaps you could do something similar next time there is something your DD wants money for at school. We have ice cream days and that money has to come separate (and marked "ice cream money") so the students (especially the little ones) can't use it for something else or vice versa with lunch money.

Also, and I have to add this because I have been through the Kindergarten thing twice over, am going through it this year and when Peanut enters school, will do it again, but it is My Personal Opinion, (having been room mom and volunteering for a number of years) that no matter the maturity level of the 5-6 yo, $10 is A LOT of money to make a child responsible for (especially Cash).  I never send a large amount like that if I can help it and I almost always make sure it is in the form of a check, sealed in an envelope. To make a child that age responsible for Cash is too tempting for most, stressful for some, and can often end up lost or in the hands of a "friend".

I am sorry your DD had to learn a lesson like this. It's probably not going to be the only one to come up and hopefully you and her can continue to work through the ones that do.

Good luck!
by on Mar. 1, 2007 at 4:14 PM
You were right in what you did, but I don't understand why you give your daughter $10.00 for lunch. That is just too much money for a kindergartner. That's just too much temptation. Good disciplining though.
by on Mar. 1, 2007 at 5:16 PM
The reason I gave her so much money was because that is all that I had. As I said, my son and I have had the flu, I haven't had a chance to go to the bank, we live 20 miles from town and I didn't feel like driving that far. The school will only accept a check for lunch money if it is for the entire month or more. Since she doesn't always eat lunch from there ( I usually pack it), I don't like to pay that much in advance. The reason I was so upset with her is because lunch money is collected at the first of class and the book fair wasn't till after lunch, so she made a decision that morning not to give the teacher her money and to spend it that afternoon. I know that five is young to expect so much from her, but she is really smart. I'm not bragging, but she is very mature for her age, several people have told me this. 

She came home from school this afternoon and told me that she had thought about it and she's sorry and won't do it again and she likes me again.Smile So, everything is fine and she'll get her books back this weekend.

Thanks for all the support ladies!!!Smile
by on Mar. 1, 2007 at 10:35 PM
I think what you did is fine. But next time I would send in her money in an envelope with a note to the teacher what the money is for just to be on the safe side.
by on Mar. 1, 2007 at 10:46 PM
I think you were right to do what you did...I would have done the same thing. That is why I my daughters money in the envelope with lunch money on it and the teachers ask for money before school starts.....My husband is a lot harsher so he would have done something different.....But anyway, you made a great choice and a right decision
by on Mar. 6, 2007 at 12:50 PM
Our school requires that any money sent to school must be sealed in an enveloped and labeled on the outside with the child's name, amount of money and what it is for. Even if it is just a dollar for ice cream Friday's. I think this is an excellant system and one I would use even if it wasn't school policy.

Second, I can understand the pull for your daughter to use her money at the book fair. I volunteer at the Book Fair at our elementary school each time. Each class has a designated time during that week that they go and look and shop at the Book Fair. Parents are welcome to go with their child and are given 2 weeks notice, then one week notice then a reminder the day before their child's class goes. We also have one night that is Boof Fair Family night so that working parents can come with their child.
 I have seen how hard it is on a child when they come with their class and everyone has money to spend except for them.Ih ave dried many atear from a child who has nothing to spend. There are items from .50 and one dollar and up. SO even a dollar would make them happy. I have started sticking a few dollar bills in my pocket for just this situation when I work. It would be very hard for them to not spend any money that they might have on them with the peer pressure around, even on the kindergarten level.
 So I guess I am in the minority in that If I had been in the posters position, the blame would be mostly mine. I would explain to my daughter what I wanted her to do, but also take some of the blame myself. I think it is my job as the parent to not put in her such a position at school.I try very hard ,despite her maturity and high verbal skills, to remember that she  is just 6 and try not to demang decisions and behavior that emotionally and chronologically would be hard for her to follow through on. SInce I have been there and seen it, I can relate to what happens at the Book Fair and sympathize with her decision. I would not have made her use her own money for lunch, just like I do not make her use her money for the book fair.
At our school each child has a lunchroom account and you deposit money in it in the office or send a check in an envelope to the teacher. Your child has a lunch number that they enter when they buy lunch, a drink or ice cream. This is their number through high school graduation . Our lunchroom discourages the use of cash, other than dollars on Fridays for ice cream. If I eat with my children, I also key in their number for my meal. I love this system and encourage all schools to adopt it.
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