A hard lesson learned for my 10yo daughter.

File May 09, 8 56 15 AMWe’re VERY big in our house about caring more about “experiences” rather than “things” or “stuff.” Our clothes range from Gap to Old Navy to Target to Walmart to thrift stores. Most of my 3yo’s clothes are her sister’s hand-me-downs. Most of Lily’s clothes are on sale Old Navy stuff and for that matter, same with my husband and me. We don’t drive fancy cars. We don’t splurge on extravagant gifts and I don’t buy fancy shoes or purses. Well…anymore. HAHAHA Yes, your priorities can change over time and I am glad mine did. We, as a family have agreed that creating memories and experiences are much more special than having the latest and greatest…whatever.

That being said. You know how sometimes you can walk into ANY store and your kid ALWAYS wants SOMETHING right?! When I was a kid, we didn’t have alot of money. My BFF Valerie and I made our own money. Lemonade stands. A neighborhood newspaper, yard sales…you name it, we sold it! Last Summer my husband and I helped our oldest daughter Lily with building a fun Lemonade Stand out of some old recycled wood pallets. Last month Lily held her first lemonade stand this season at our neighborhood Farmer’s Market. It was a hot day and she made some good money.

When we went to Epcot at Walt Disney World last year (experience), Lily saw this cute ring stand where a man was making engraved name rings. She wanted one so badly but umm yah, the cheapest one was $30 and I was like n to the o, no. Momma is NOT paying $30 for a kid’s ring. However, I told her if she saved her OWN money and still wanted it the next time we went back to Walt Disney World, she could get one.

At the beginning of May, I got invited to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration conference. It was one of the most AH-mazing trips ever. Before we left, Lily was so excited to tell me that after she gave 10% of her lemonade stand profits to our church and then put 10% away for saving and that she had enough money leftover to buy her the engraved name ring at Epcot. We got to WDW and hit up Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Universal Studios, and finally Epcot. All she could talk about was getting that engraved Lily name ring. We found the stand in Mexico, she put in her order and voila, 15 minutes and $30 later, she had her Lily ring. She was SOOOOOO happy, she even had a little extra spring in her step.

On the last day of our trip, which was also Mother’s Day, the Disney Social Media Moms celebration conference had a beautiful Mother’s Day brunch for everyone at a special events location in Epcot. When we were heading back to Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club on the bus after the brunch, Lily realized she didn’t have her ring. She had washed her hands in the bathroom and took it off and put it on the sink. Why? Because I told her she shouldn’t shower with it, wear her new ring in the pool and that she should probably even take it off when she washes her hands. 🙁 She has super sensitive skin and pretty much any jewelry turns green on her or makes her break out in a rash. Sigh. She bawled the ENTIRE bus ride back to the hotel. When we got back to our room, she and I decided to schlep our tushies back to Epcot to see if we could recover the ring. The venue was closed and we couldn’t get in. We had to get on the road to head home so we couldn’t even hike it all the way to the front of the park to check lost and found. She started crying again and while she totally understood that it was “just a ring”, she was just SO disappointed that she didn’t even have it one full day and it was already gone. $30 wasted.

I called Disney’s Lost and Found the next day after we were home but no one had turned it in. I wish I had a better ending to share with you because we never did get her ring back. Disney couldn’t have been nicer and said they would keep my information in case anyone turned it in. Over two weeks later now and still nothing has turned up. I even have two friends who work for Disney and I know it would have been so easy to ask them to go back to Mexico in Epcot and buy her a new Lily engraved ring but I felt like even though I gave her the advice to take it off, she should have been responsible enough to put it back on. Ugh. Even as I type those words, I still feel a little sad for her because I know how excited she was to buy that ring with her own money. I know as parents we would love to prevent ever having our little people be sad, but I also feel it is important for them to learn life lessons. Sigh. What would you all have done?

But you know what, now that I think about it. She hasn’t mentioned that ring ONE single time since we’ve been home. Really. Not one. Maybe there IS something to that whole theory that experiences not things bring you happiness because she HAS asked me a million times when we leave for our next vacation. 🙂

XO Surviving Mommy

This week I’ve been co-hosting Caffeinated Radio with Kristen Gates on 94.9 The Bull in Atlanta, GA. Country superstar Dierks Bentley called in this morning to chat about his new album BLACK which is in stores this Friday May 27th. While we talked to Dierks, he weighed in and shared his thoughts on the Lily ring drama above. Take a listen HERE!

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  • Michele says:

    I feel bad for her because she did save up her money to buy it. I would probably get another one and surprise her her with it for a birthday or Christmas. Just my thought though. She did learn a lesson and you did the right thing because even at her age they have to learn about responsibility.

  • Hope says:

    I was thinking birthday or Christmas present too !! Or end of school surprise….or some sort of recognition present…..or make the ‘reappearance” of the ring somewhere in the house a fun surprise !! (Disclaimer: my children are 4-legged ones…..they get surprises for just looking cute !! :-D. )

  • Shelly says:

    You could get it for her but don’t give it to her right away. The next time she does something sweet or selfless surprise her with it.

  • Yep, I’m a sucker for this stuff. I guarantee she learned her lesson with the first bit of heartache…I’d totally buy a new one as the end of school year gift. I’m not saying that’s the right thing, bc clearly I haven’t done everything right as a parent, but in my mind, these kids have so many other heartbreaks in their future, ya’ know? Does that make me seem jaded? Ha! Guess that comes with parenting 4, with my youngest being 10.

  • Tami says:

    It was a hard lesson, but I think you did the right thing as her mama. Now, IF I was her aunty (and boy am I sucker), I would have turned heaven and earth to get her a replacement ring and deal with the parental units later. Haha. But really…it’s a lesson that even I have learned time and again myself, even as an adult. So for the few possessions I still have, I treasure them all. It makes things easier when life and circumstance forces me to downsize even more.

  • I totally agree not to replace it. I’ve done the same thing with my daughter. It’s an important lesson to learn on two levels. Taking care of your things and the value of saving and spending your money. It doesn’t grow on trees!

  • Adam says:

    Hard lessons will come with life, not when you’re 10. We all lose things in life as adults. What do we do? Replace them, because we can, we have income, and means. If we want something bad enough we work until we get it. Your child put in the work, saved for a year, and EARNED her ring. She then listened to your advice, and did as she was told with the taking it off to wash her hands. Hard work, Patience, and Listening to Advice from your elders should be rewarded. She’s 10, she has the rest of her life for the world to punish her for mistakes. Children aren’t children long, especially nowadays, and as parents it’s our job to protect, promote, and provide. On top of that, parents should be there to “Make it all better,” while possible. I could rant all morning on the reasons why you should get that child a new ring. To me it wouldn’t even be a question of yes or no. It wouldn’t be a birthday gift either, that doesn’t teach as good of a lesson. Explain WHY you’re replacing it, and explain that second chances happen very rarely.

    To sum up: Get that child her ring.

  • Alicia says:

    So, I tried to call in to 94.9 The Bull this morning to talk to you there, but no luck getting through. Ask yourself one small question: If it were something that had a larger price tag on it would you still be so ready to “fix” it all? I am not saying to completely shut the door on a solution, but don’t you think she will remember that last year you did not buy it for her but agreed to allow her to earn the money to buy it for herself. Be a part of the solution, and present her with an opportunity to again be proud of her accomplishments. I do feel that sometimes as parents we tend to want to fix every problem or situation so that our children do not hurt over things gone wrong (and I am so guilty of doing that with my 3 boys whom are now grown). Explain to her that because you feel badly about her losing the ring, and that you feel partly to blame since you had advised her to remove it for certain activities, etc., that you will give her an opportunity to replace the ring but that it will only cost her half of the original cost and you will cover the other half. This may help her understand being accountable and responsible, but at the same time you are not completely giving in to what you originally refused to do, which was buy the ring. If she doesn’t want to do that to replace it, then let it go but by actually putting the choice on her plate instead of yours it will help you not feel so bad if she chooses not to get another. 🙂 Hope it all works out perfectly for you all! Have a great day ~

  • Devoria says:

    I feel sad for Lily, due to the loss of her ring, but I believe you did the right thing in teaching her life’s lessons. With that said, I think she is learning to be more responsible of her belongings, and will think “twice” when handling things important to her.

  • Tammie says:

    I recently had a similar situation with my kiddo who is now 11. This was a much more expensive endeavor ($300!!) I wouldn’t buy him a smart watch that he has wanted so badly for over a year now. He started his own pressure washing business and spent his spring break and weekends pressure washing neighbors driveways and sidewalks and earned far more than he needed for the watch. My dilemma (and I still am struggling with this) was do I LET an 11 year old spend that much money on something like a watch. He DID put money in savings and donated a substantial amount as well, but where do I draw the line?
    The watch went on sale for $250 so I purchased it without his knowledge and was planning on saving it for his 5th grade graduation gift. I know, too extravagant, but it is what it is. He is finishing with all 6 years at elementary school with straight A’s, on student council all three years he was eligible, and has been in the gifted program since first grade. I’m proud of his achievements and wanted to spoil him a bit. But what I realized after trying to get his mind off of the watch and discouraging him from wanting to purchase it was that I couldn’t give it to him as a gift. HE wanted to purchase it with his own money he had worked so hard for. It was important for HIM to get to be the one to open his little Velcro wallet and pull out his own cash and purchase his own watch.
    So back to the store I went to return the watch so he could purchase it himself. The beaming pride on that kid’s face was priceless! I understand now how important that really was for him and am so glad he got that opportunity to do it himself. Now, if he were to lose it, I could not replace it because of the cost, but knowing him, he would save up and do it all over again. I know you could get her a new Lily ring, but has the item lost it’s luster enough to repurchase it now that she’s had it and lost it or is it worth saving up for all over again? Would it mean as much to her if it came in the mail now from someone who could make it happen? I’m willing to bet a large part of the ring was the “want”. And the fact it was purchased with earned money. It most likely wouldn’t have the same gleam to it coming from anywhere else.

  • Josie Long says:

    Wow, even after reading the different responses from your Surviving Mommy Blog readers (like myself), I couldn’t help but agree with them.
    Honestly, and regardless that her “Lilly” engraved ring was $30, AND that she payed with it, with her OWN money… Losing her ring, should, and hopefully will be a good lesson for her.. After you know what they say, “Material things will not bring you happiness”.

  • Heather says:

    My sister gave me the silver Tiffany’s mesh ring for my college graduation gift, I’d been DYING to have…. and I lost it the same way, THE EXACT SAME WAY, that Lily did! I took it off to wash my hands in a public restroom! I ended up buying myself a replacement, mostly because I didn’t want my sister to know that I’d lost it, and you won’t even believe…. I lost THAT one TOO. THE. EXACT. SAME. WAY. Needless to say, I never take my rings off to wash my hands anymore. :/

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