Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Boys Will Be Boys

Beily Paluch

It’s hard to predict what our sons will be up to next — starting a successful business in second grade? Building a family-sized tree house? How to help your little men become better entrepreneurs, cooks, and builders.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The little men in our households tend to view the world not in terms of form and beauty, but in dollars and cents. While schools have strict rules against commerce within their walls (as they should), running a small, supervised enterprise at home can teach boys about responsibility, profit and loss, and halachos of business, not to mention values more important than money. When our basement tenant moved out, he left behind cases of fashion jewelry. “Keep it. Wear it. Sell it,” he said. “I don’t need it.” With a family of boys and one fashion-clueless mom, we didn’t have much need for the bangles, charms, and earrings. But we do have a public school down the block, and hordes of children and their parents stroll past our house every day at 3:00. “Let’s make a sale,” said my son. And so he did. For several weeks in a row, my sons ran an outdoor boutique every Friday afternoon. They priced all the jewelry at $1 to $2. Then, as courteous salesmen, they helped customers find pieces to suit their taste and style. They did brisk business with the schoolchildren and their escorts. They were also delighted when a relative paid for some trinkets, but they let their sister and our housekeeper have some for free. I was proud of them. They were making money, but more than that, they were learning about courtesy, kindness, and sharing. When conducted in the right spirit, a boy’s natural inclination for independence and breadwinning can be channeled into a rewarding experience.

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

Evolution vs. Revolution
Shoshana Friedman I call it the “what happened to my magazine?” response
Up, Up, and Away
Rabbi Moshe Grylak What a fraught subject Eretz Yisrael is, to this day
Where Do You Come From?
Yonoson Rosenblum Could they be IDF officers with no Jewish knowledge?
Heaven Help Us
Eytan Kobre Writing about anti-Semitism should rouse, not soothe
Work/Life Solutions with Chedva Kleinhandler
Moe Mernick “Failures are our compass to success”
An Un-Scientific Survey
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Are Jerusalemites unfriendly? Not necessarily
Out of Anger
Jacob L. Freedman How Angry Lawyer was finally able to calm down
5 Things You Didn’t Know about…Yitzy Bald
Riki Goldstein He composed his first melody at eight years old
When the Floodgates of Song Open, You’re Never Too Old
Riki Goldstein Chazzan Pinchas Wolf was unknown until three years ago
Who Helped Advance These Popular Entertainers?
Riki Goldstein Unsung deeds that boosted performers into the limelight
Your Task? Ask
Faigy Peritzman A tangible legacy I want to pass on to my children
Are You There?
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Emotional withdrawal makes others feel lonely, abandoned
A Peace of a Whole
Rebbetzin Debbie Greenblatt Love shalom more than you love being right
Seminary Applications
Rabbi Zecharya Greenwald, as told to Ariella Schiller It’s just as hard for seminaries to reject you