I’ve been getting a lot of questions about my daughter’s lemonade stand, especially considering no one really does the ‘lemonade stand thing’ anymore. I think mostly because parents are just too busy and children don’t really have an interest in being outside anymore, but there’s a bigger picture here. Too many children, in my opinion, suffer from the ‘just ask and you shall receive’ syndrome. Many children don’t understand how money works and how hard their parents work, to earn a living. Allowing my daughter to continue with the syndrome is setting her up for failure. Just because you may have the finances to do so, doesn’t mean you should – not all the time. Doing this lemonade stand with my daughter, was pretty amazing. We both learned a few things.
Value of a dollar. There have been too many instances where she asks for a toy, just because and I find myself coming up with reasons, in my head, to justify buying her one. It’s nice to get rewarded, once in a while, but certainly not all of the time. Soon enough, every time we would enter a store she would start with the ‘I want this! I want that!’ and enough was enough. Marley needed to learn the value of a dollar. I also want her to understand that those things cost money and how that money is earned.
After seeing how much money she was earning, she wanted to save every bit of it and hold on to it. She was finally getting it.
Learning how money works. Having to conduct real life transactions has helped her to understand how to add and subtract money. She has also learned how to count the money she receives, all while giving her customers back the correct amount of change. It’s one thing knowing how to do this with pencil and paper but completely different when dealing with real life customers.
Community. Where I live, you hardly see children outside. One of our goals was to bring the community together, even if it was for that moment. We got tons of compliments, not only on the stand itself but on the fact that she was outside being independent and making her own money. It made our neighbors happy seeing her outside. There has been a lot of racial tension around, due to recent events, but our family believes strongly in peace and love. We’re giving more smiles and hoping for less divide. More Smiles Less Divide. I’m pretty sure I made that up and I actually like how that sounds. I’m going to make that a thing. #moresmileslessdivide
Time spent. We made the lemonade stand AND the organic lemonade together. We took turns squeezing the juice out of each lemon, one by one. We have our very own recipe that we ad-libbed – that part we won’t share! Initially, we tried it with maple syrup but it reminded me too much of the ‘lemonade diet’ I tried with cayenne pepper that week I was trying to be Beyonce. Finally we decided on organic cane sugar and it was a hit! Her customers aren’t getting the powered stuff, they’re getting the real deal for only a dollar.
Something fun to do. I told myself that I would make the stand from scratch and sure enough, I did! With the help of my amazing father-in-law. We made it happen! Marley even painted the stand herself and had fun doing it.
Financial Independence & Responsibility. Marley’s goal is the save enough to buy her Lego castle, put a portion of it in her bank account, invest some and donate some. She wants to be outside every weekend selling her lemonade, and I don’t mind. As long as she’s showing a genuine interest, I’m happy.
Entrepreneurship & More! Hopefully, in doing all of this, Marley will want to work for herself one day. This experience has shown her that she can do whatever she puts her mind to. There are no limits.
I challenge my readers to do something similar with your children and please share! Let’s make Operation Lemonade Stand or More Smiles Less Divide a national thing.
If you’re interested in learning how to build the stand, let me know! I’m more than happy to share.
Please excuse the background in our pictures. We are currently remodeling our new home and still working on the back patio.