Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Pie, Paychecks & Possibilities

My friend and colleague, Darcy, never fails to get me thinking.  When she stops by my classroom at lunch, she always has something to share -- an engaging story from NPR or a personal tale of some oddity or an anecdote about her daughter and on the best days her gift of inspiring ideas is accompanied by a delicious treat -- a baby pie, ribs, her amazing potato salad.

Yesterday, we talked about the balance between urging our children toward success and allowing them freedom to explore, think, and discover on their own.  She had been in a conversation with another friend about the concept of allowance and she questioned the practice of paying a child for doing chores or specific task.  While this teaches children that they will be rewarded for what they do well, the reward is monetary.  Her fear is that we then teach our children to be employees, and even worse, employees who will only do something if there is personal benefit to them.  What do we want to do? she asked.  Do we want to raise our kids to be employees or do we want to raise them to be independent thinkers, fueled by intrinsic motivation, empathy and self-respect?

Darcy doesn't bring me pie to get pie in return (she knows what a challenged cook I am!) She doesn't bring me pies so that I will pay her for them. She brings me pie because she likes me and she talks about interesting things with me so that both of us can grow, consider and think.

So the question has been rattling around: What am I raising my sons to be?

Only their best, I hope.

3 comments:

brianna said...

People need to give more pies; it is the pie in life that makes all of the vegetables worth it and makes the hard work we do all the more worth while. Having been around you and your children a few times outside of school, I can say that you are doing the motherhood thing right, your kids are the pie givers, just like you. It is the sweet, caring, mentors like you who inspire the rest of us to keep going and look for the pie that is waiting for us just ahead- we must only get through this day to enjoy the splendors it promises.
-Brianna C.

Days In The Park said...

Thanks, Brianna! What a positive, kind comment!

Stephanie said...

oops -- last comment was from me, not my husband or the country bears :)