Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Hockey Life: Responsibility

Just take a look at that mouthpiece. Ugly, isn't it? That's what happens, though, when it's used as a chew toy, not as it's intended -- to reduce the risk of a concussion.

Well, we've had enough.

After asking Colin not to chew on them and then telling him not to do that, we went off in a new direction. Colin, rather than us, is now responsible for buying his mouthguards. And, no, he can't buy the cheap $5 models, like this one. Instead, he'll have to buy the better, brand-name models (read, more expensive) for himself.

That's why we stopped by a national sporting goods store chain last Wednesday, after Colin's two-plus hour skating session at a rink inside a mall in Clearwater. After weighing the costs and benefits of two models, it took only minutes for Colin to spend $16.05, tax included, of his own money for a new mouthguard.

Understand, too, that Colin doesn't receive an allowance. He has certain chores that he has to do to earn his keep, so to speak, around the house. He earns any extra money by washing our cars and performing yard work tasks. Every so often, too, his Nana and Babop send him money for good report cards and assorted holidays.

Our idea is that if he has to pay for something, he might take better care of it. If he wants to keep chewing on his mouthguards, so be it. When it happens, he'll just have to buy another one for himself. Really, it's just that simple.

He's 10 years old now, so it's time, at least in this hockey dad's way of thinking, for him to contribute to his hockey expenditures. Maybe it'll help him understand the huge financial commitment we undertake for him to play hockey.

We've already committed $2,250 for his fall-winter travel hockey season. We'll pay another $360 for a fall-winter rec league, where he can hone skills and develop leadership abilities. He's good on equipment now, as we adopt a piecemeal approach of spreading out those purchases, but there's always something coming down the road (He has his eye on a Grit HT1 Hockey Tower in Bruins colors). And let's not forget the nickel-and-diming costs of sticks, tape and sharpening skates.

To me, his $15 every so often is just a drop in the bucket. The lesson learned, should it happen, will be priceless.

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  1. nice.... and first sign of wear, off to buy another one.
    well done.

  2. The best way for him to learn. Kudos to you.

  3. He played a game today. It stayed in his mouth. Chalk one up to parenting.