Perspectives

Making the Most of a Teachable Moment

By Janice Wagner

Originally published May 22, 2017

When did it become okay to baby our kids and make them believe they are entitled to everything? Isn’t it still important to teach our kids that to succeed, you need to work hard and always do your best? What is wrong with going over and above what is expected?

I had an incident happen on Facebook that really opened my eyes. A mother posted a picture of a lawn her son mowed to make money. Yes, the lawn was mowed. He did what he was hired to do. The mother’s complaint was that the homeowner talked him down from $25.00 to $20.00. When he completed mowing and went to collect his pay, she said he didn’t mow it short enough so she only paid him $15.00 (she didn’t tell him she wanted it short). Therefore, a job that started at $25 went to $20 and he ended up being paid $15. Was the homeowner wrong? You betcha!! She hired him at $20.00 and should have paid him the price they agreed on. After paying him, she should have then had a conversation with him to explain what she had expected the yard to look like. Furthermore, she should have asked him to return the following week to give him another chance.

Now, for the sticky situation…I decided to comment on her picture. I suggested that although the yard was mowed, it would have been nice to see it trimmed and the grass clipping cleaned up.  My suggestion was to have her son go to the woman and tell her he would mow her yard for her for free. Make it the way the woman wants. Then go over and above and trim and clean it up. Make her house look like the best on the block so others see it and take notice.  Yes, he would lose money to begin with. But in the long run, he could be the most requested lawn mower in the neighborhood!! Always do your best, and it will come back to you.

Other people on the site went after me saying he was hired to mow, not trim and clean up. Then they said if you want all that done, go and hire a professional!! ALL he was asking was $25.00. Well, for $25.00, you CAN get a professional to do your yard. Especially the size of the one in question. And a professional will edge, weed whip, mow, blow the clippings up…and haul away!!

How long did it take this young man to mow the yard? Maybe half an hour? What makes him worth $50.00/hour? Even if it took him 45 minutes…is he worth $25.00/hour? Why? What has he done in his 14 years to make him worth so much money? When I suggested he bring his price down, people were downright angry…at me? Really? I’m 58 years old and I make less than that, along with most of the people I know that have years of work under their belts.

I commented again about making this a teachable moment for her son. What happened was real life!!  There will always be those that will lie, cheat, and steal…but how you react will speak volumes to your child. I guess my point was to go with your son; talk to him about the job he did, and let him know how he can improve on what he did; most of all…show him how to do the job correctly! Work with him and TEACH him so he knows the proper way to do the job.

Am I wrong?  Should I have kept my opinions to myself? To top everything off…she blocked me from her site!! Oh well, such is life.

Let us know what you think…

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Janice Wagner moved to Port Huron, Michigan in 1968 at the age of nine. She graduated from Port Huron Northern High School in 1977. After living for two years in Ann Arbor, Michigan, she returned to Port Huron and married the love of her life, David Wagner. Janice was a stay-at-home mom to two children, and then later to two grandchildren. She is very happy to have been given the opportunity to work for the Grant Smith Insurance Agency, where a temporary, part time job for Open Enrollment turned into a full time job.

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Disclaimer: Blue Water Healthy Living is an online magazine located in Port Huron, Michigan. Our purpose is to promote healthy living by showcasing the Blue Water Area, its people, issues and surroundings. This online magazine is devoted to providing healthy living related stories, local happenings, and commentary. Often inspiring and uplifting, our stories come from our heart and soul to promote the enjoyment of a more fulfilling Blue Water Area lifestyle. The material on this web site is provided for informational and amusement purposes only and is not to be confused with any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinions and values of Blue Water Healthy Living.

About the author

Janice Wagner

Janice Wagner moved to Port Huron, Michigan in 1968 at the age of nine. She graduated from Port Huron Northern High School in 1977. After living for two years in Ann Arbor, Michigan, she returned to Port Huron and married the love of her life, David Wagner. Janice was a stay-at-home mom to two children, and then later to two grandchildren. She is very happy to have been given the opportunity to work for the Grant Smith Insurance Agency, where a temporary, part time job for Open Enrollment has turned into a full time job.

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