Would You Buy a Plant From These Boys

I don’t know. Aren’t kids supposed to stick to lemonade stands?

take a plant or two

Just two honest salesmen, trying to make a living.

Although, come to think of it, I haven’t seen very many lemonade stands around these days. Have we filled up our children’s time so fully that they don’t have idle afternoons available for sitting by the curb and hoping for customers?

Is it more “productive” for children to be involved in sports, classes or structured social outings? I hear my own children beg for play dates and outings at the park on Saturday afternoons and wonder when they will learn about work if they are always so busy playing? Am I actually doing them a disservice by allowing entertainment to be the main focus of their free time?

Friday was a gorgeous day here in Washington. Tim took the day off to be with the children while I sold books at a used curriculum fair. Amidst their various activities, Daniel and David spent time (a LONG time) selling their tomato plants. They were hot and bored at times. They did NOT want to continue, but they persevered and succeeded in not only selling several plants but learning some important life-lessons.

david's peddling tomatoes

David was Daniel’s faithful associate during the hot afternoon of tomato selling.

Potential Lessons of the Day

  1. An engaging, friendly attitude provides a good connection with customers and generally improves business.
  2. Being fired is a real and serious threat. It’s also a motivation to stick to the job and keep working.
  3. The extent to which you invest in a project has a direct correlation to the effort others are willing to assist you.
  4. Location matters – a quiet section of a street does not yield a high amount of traffic which means the customers are few.

Our sermon today was on the topic of work. The pastor is taking the congregation through a study of Proverbs. Daniel sat in church with us, as he does each week, and took notes. As I listened to the pastor speak and watched Daniel fill in the outline, I wondered if he processed the sermon in conjunction with his experience selling tomatoes. Did he remember any of those life-lessons? Did he understand that the Lord wants him to be a diligent, hard worker, not because He is a cruel master but because He loves Daniel?

instructions for your tomato plant

Tim and Daniel created a Tomato Hand-Out full of instructions.

I want my children to view work from a godly perspective – to work with honesty and integrity, to value hard work and diligence, to avoid get rich schemes and workaholism, and above all to honor God with their work. I appreciate the opportunity to study the scriptures and then discuss the ideas with the kids.

In our Small Group this evening we talked about teaching our children Biblical principles so they have the moral reasons and understanding to govern their lives in a godly manner. A proper attitude toward work is a significant aspect of our parental training.

Now to model that same honesty, integrity and discipline in my own work.

How come no one ever told me parenting was such hard work? I was a really fun babysitter. I didn’t realize parenting was going to be layered with some much complexity and significance. The responsibility is tremendous.

tomatoes will be growing soon!

Anybody want a tomato plant?


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4 thoughts on “Would You Buy a Plant From These Boys”

  1. Opportunities to train abound, do they not? You are doing a great job with these kids. Thanks for sharing what you are learning/teaching; it is an encouragement.

    I just bought some tomato plants the other day. I was thinking the whole time that I’d rather be buying them from your kids. Just can’t justify the commute:)

  2. I would absolutely buy a tomato plant from your well prepared, hard working boys! What a cute sign David is holding and your instruction sheet is a great idea too.

    Here’s to us fun babysitters turned moms, and just so you know…I think you’re a really fun mom!

  3. Where does a person acquire drive, ambition or passion?

    When I was a boy, I had a lot of drive to make money. It is possible that my parents would say otherwise, but it seemed to me that I was very motivated to earn (and spend) money. My brother and I collected plastic soldiers, Asterix comic books and models of ships and planes and tanks. When I was 10 or 11, my folks hit on the happy punishment of fines for various transgressions, so I was always trying to earn money to stay in the black. I sold plants, refurbished clothes-drying racks, did odd jobs and worked the popcorn stand at school. When we moved back to the United States, I mowed lawns, raked leaves and shoveled snow in season, and took my first full-time summer job as a yard-boy at 14. I worked 16-24 hour weeks all through high school (full-time in the summers) except for a five-month stint my senior year. Thanks to my parents’ footing my food, housing and clothing bill, I had quite a bit more disposable income as a teenager than I do now.

    Has my indulgence as a parent leached ambition from my children? By providing (and over-providing) for the wants of my children, have I created an environment where there is no need for economic drive? It worries me, to think that I may have handicapped my children in such a critical area.

  4. I definitely would want to buy tomato plants from those boys – but how much is the shipping cost? (yep, to Maui ;)

    I would re-read this post. It’s a great one to ponder as I also am thinking of ways to teach my kids these lessons….

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