But Mommm: Paying Their Way

by mom blogger, Tracy Ashley


We’re a family that purposely doesn’t over schedule our kids with extracurricular activities but despite our best intentions between their activities and ours somehow the weeknights still fill up and fly by.

Now, as the school-time activities start to wind down and wrap up, it’s nice to start to have our nighttime schedules open up and relax.

As that happens, ironically enough, the boys’ thoughts start to drift to what our summer plans may be, especially what summer camps they’d like to attend. Even with hubby being home most of the summer and me working mostly from home, we make good use of the great summer camps around. The boys love the structure and we need to work and have a break too.

As a child I don’t recall going to a bunch of summer camps myself, besides Brownies and Guides, but they are so plentiful now and there’s so much to choose from to suit any child’s interest. The trouble usually is to narrow down what one to sign them up for. Even in the rural parts of HRM we have theatre, sports, and swimming to choose from in our own backyard and we aren’t that far to go into the city ones.

Fuel your kids!

Our oldest guy is now 10 and is interested in going back to a weeklong Scout camp on the island in the middle of Miller Lake, near Fall River. He had a blast last year and before we even made it to the car he asked to go back. He also wants to attend a theatre camp. With a combined cost of $500 for the two, I think it’s appropriate for him to choose one and / or help pay for them.

I’m not looking for him to raid his piggy bank and give us his birthday money. I had something else in mind. My thoughts are that if he’s truly that interested in both of them that he’ll work a bit for them and help to pay for them.

We don’t do allowances but if he chipped in a bit more than usual I’d be willing to pay him for it, or he could help his grandparents out around their yards, or he could gather up some unused toys or books and have a yard sale. Those would all start to add up nicely.


I know from experience that he’s more than capable of applying himself when he gets passionate about something. Three times this spring he and his brother have gone to work setting up yard sales, lemonade stands, car washes and bottle drives to help raise money for our Relay for Life team and as Earth Rangers to raise money to save the Eastern Wolves (in the pouring rain, I might add).

We have already casually introduced him to the concept of money and talk to its value and uses through everyday conversations. I think this may be a good exercise to help reinforce that in his personal context and help him learn the connection between work and reward.

I’m curious what you (Urban Parent readers) think of this idea and if you have done it before and have any suggestions or tips to pass along to help make it a success. I’d love to hear from you.

Tracy is a self-employed Mom of two boys, trying to get it right the first time. By day, helping companies tell their stories through words, media and events. By night, navigating the world of Lego, Minecraft and Harry Potter.


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