If It Walks Like A Duck...

Posted by: Pam in what Ive learned from my childrenschoolNorthwest Houstonkidsfundraising on

Recently I spent an hour helping my 7 year old address postcards to friends and family alerting them to the school's upcoming fundraiser. The packet came home from school that day with instructions to fill out and address along with a personal note and return the following day.  Postcards would be accepted after the next day, but those who returned them within the 24 hour period would be the proud recipients of a lanyard sporting a yellow rubber duck. The promise of the duck was all my child needed to crank the postcard effort into high gear.

Now I have nothing against school fundraising. In fact, I am a big believer in it. I get that the monies brought in by taxes for public schools or tuition for private only cover the basics of the budget. Fundraising is necessary to provide the extras for our kids. Extras like playground equipment, improved technology, extracurricular activities and so on. Extras that help develop the whole child, not just the fraction that would be educated without them. But a duck? A $2 yellow rubber duck? This is the pot at the end of the first phase of fundraising rainbow? Evidently it is, at least in the minds of 7 year olds (and probably the rest of the age groups) because we spent the next hour diligently completing the postcards. I admit, after a long day and the previous hour working on homework, for most of which I was thankful my child understood because I didn't, the postcard project was not high on my choice of activities. I tried distractions such as a Disney Channel marathon, ice cream, and teaching the dog new tricks. I even suggested buying additional magazines to offset the ones intended for the postcard recipients. When that didn't work, I promised a trip to the dollar store to buy 10 ducks that I was confident would be very similar if not identical. Even better than the lanyard duck would be an entire duck family. No dice. Pencils in hand, we got to work. 

In retrospect, I realize what I saw as just a yellow rubber duck, my child viewed as a responsibility and a reward for an accomplishment. In my short sightedness, although unintentional, I actually tried to take that away. Or at least circumvent it by taking a shortcut. I think I'll add this one to my "what I've learned from my children" list.


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