Now that we are in the midst of the hottest days of the year, we cannot forget the importance of stopping at those small local businesses that may be easy to overlook: the lemonade stands run by the little children. Spring and Summer, seeing kids between second and fourth grade trying to run a business themselves is an American pastime. They’ll have a table set up, accompanied by a big cardboard sign. They might offer lemonade, even if the spelling might be “lemon aid” or some other funny variant, and maybe a small bag of popcorn.
Why not stop by and support these small businesses? It’s a fun way to encourage kids to learn the value of a dollar. The money will seem far more valuable to them if they earn it themselves; they will value their profits from an afternoon’s work far more than if their parents gave them the same amount of money as an allowance. Even if you are not interested in consuming lemonade or popcorn, it would be encouraging to these kids if you could stop and support these young entrepreneurs. Be sure to offer them a slightly bigger bill, ideally a $5 bill, so that the child can learn how to do some on-the-spot calculations and give you back the proper amount of change. After the transaction, encourage the child by thanking them the same way you treat anyone working at a store run by adults. Lastly, smile with enthusiasm and tell the child to have fun. Also, remind them to take breaks and stay cooled down.
To paraphrase a song, these kids are the future, Each day can be a new learning experience for them. Meet their enthusiasm with encouragement and allow them to keep dreaming and keep learning.
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