Remember when you were a little kid and if you saw something you really, really liked, you just had to have it? Sometimes your parents would let you get it and other times, which often involved a lot of tears, you were told no.
Chances are you probably didn’t realize it at the time, but by not allowing you to have whatever it was that you wanted, your parents were teaching you a valuable lesson.
Brea Schmidt was at a church festival with her five-year-old daughter when her daughter spotted a toy she really wanted to win. After many attempts at the game and far too many dollars spent, Schmidt saw an opportunity to teach her daughter an important lesson—you can’t always get what you want.
Brea Schmidt’s daughter spotted a stuffed toy she really wanted
Schmidt writes in a post shared to her blog’s Facebook page, The Thinking Branch, that she gave her daughter money to play the game of chance to see if she would win the stuffed Poppy toy. All the little girl had to do was open the three-for-$1 tickets to see if she won.
“Every time we tried, we lost… and each time she sweetly asked for another dollar for another try,” Schmidt wrote.
Finally, she had to tell her daughter they had spent enough money and it was time to move on.
After playing more than a handful of times, the little girl had one more chance to win.
With her last ticket in her hand, Schmidt’s daughter carefully opened it to see if it revealed she was a winner, it was not. The little girl collapsed in tears into her mother’s arms. For a few moments Schmidt considered using the money she had left in her wallet to win her daughter the toy she wanted, but then she realized this would be a perfect teachable moment.
“I got to a point where I knew I had to keep that dollar bill in my pocket and give her the life lesson speech,” she wrote.
She started to think about how she would tell her daughter that you can’t win all of the time, but instead you should appreciate the things in life that gave you the opportunity to have a chance at winning—in her case it was “all of the dollars from Nana, Papa and Mommy.”
Schmidt wanted to turn her girl’s experience of losing a carnival game into an important life lesson.
Just as Schmidt was about to make her little speech to her daughter, a stranger stepped in and offered to try to win the stuffed toy. And on the first try the woman who offered to play for Schmidt’s daughter won! The little girl was absolutely thrilled.
After Schmidt and her daughter thanked the woman, the two left the carnival with a Poppy doll in tow. And Schmidt left without being able to teach her daughter the “you can’t always get what you want” life lesson. Instead she was able to teach her another, equally important lesson, be kind to others.
When asked why she thought her Facebook post went viral, Schmidt told Babble she thought it was because almost everyone can relate to each of the characters in the story.
“Someone had been the conflicted parent wanting to make sure to instill the right lesson. Someone had been the disappointed child. Someone had been the stranger wondering if they should step in,” she told Babble.
While this mother didn’t get to teach her daughter the lesson she planned on, she was glad someone “threw a wrench” in her plan so she could teach her daughter a lesson that is just as important.
You can read Schmidt’s entire post here.