Imparting values, to my daughter, can be tricky business. Often I see the discrepancies about what I say I believe is valuable and what I truly live. I am a firm believer, in theory, of only doing what you love for money. I strive to live out of the saying, “follow your bliss and the money will come.” I’ve often expressed this to my daughter and today I got a challenge to see if this is true.

My daughter is excited about saving her money for an ipad. She was offered a job, working with my neighbor, in his garden which she loves. He told me he’s never seen a kid who loves gardening as much as she does. She comes home, everyday with a smile on her face and some money in her pocket. She is so thrilled that she asked to start a savings account and can hardly wait until her new deposit slips come.

Well, sure enough, I got excited with her and started thinking of all the ways she could make money! Now, remember I’m the one who has told her to do what she loves and the money will come. When a friend asked her to babysit, she said “NO” because she didn’t enjoy it. Then when the neighbor asked her if she wanted to take out his trash and re-cycling (we live in co-housing so she would have to carry it a ways) for $5, she politely said “NO”.

Now before I knew it I heard myself saying, “I thought you wanted money for an ipad?” Then I saw my neighbor and he said, “I was offering her $5 for 20 minutes of work”. The light bulb went on and I looked at him and said, “yes, but she would be doing it only for the money. I’ve taught her to do what she loves and the money will come.” He turned toward me and said, “yea, I still haven’t gotten that one.” I thought to myself, maybe I haven’t either.

Practice: Think about a value you have that you want to impart to your child. See if your actions actually support this value or if you are only giving it lip service. Have fun with this one and maybe, like me, you might enjoy following your own advice.