My daughters are still young, and I've already heard myself utter that stereotypical phrase, "Money doesn't grow on trees." But the fact is, for my daughters, money might appear to do just that. They don't make the connection between work and money. Will they understand that if we don't make a contribution, we don't get to choose how to spend our money? My husband and I were determined to make it clear by getting kids to chip in for their own gear.
Every little bit counts.
Just because your son can't pay for all of his hockey pads, equipment, and stick doesn't mean there's no opportunity for him to pitch in. Every little bit helps. Whether your daughter needs to pay for her mouth guard or her lacrosse stick, requiring her contribution means she'll take some ownership over her team experience.
Help at home.
My parents never required my sisters and I to have a job while we were students as long as we kept our grades up. But that doesn't mean that we didn't need to contribute when we chose to participate in expensive events and activities. If your son or daughter can't contribute financially, expect additional contributions around the home instead. Vacuuming the living room or cleaning the bathrooms can cover a portion of their sports equipment, for example.
Earn good grades.
Does your son or daughter earn straight As while participating in a team sport? Maintaining or improving high school grades might earn students a contribution towards required sports equipment. Require students to pay the difference with babysitting or birthday money.
Your daughter or son might want to consider babysitting in order to help pay for seasonal school sports. Cutting grass might be a necessity so your daughter can earn enough money for her field hockey skirt. Your son might need to babysit in order to pay for his football pads. Teaching your child to abandon gender stereotypes in order to get the job done can help them contribute towards an immediate goal ( school sports) and learn to work towards later life goals.
Search for the best options.
Not all sports equipment needs to be purchased new. Teach your son or daughter to appreciate a gently used lacrosse stick or field hockey stick, for instance. Equipment doesn't need to be new in order to get the job done.
What advice would you give to parents who hope to get their children involved in chipping in for their own sports equipment?
Content by Kelly Herdrich.