My post today should prove to you that no task is too mundane or too pedestrian that it can’t become a magical, No Regrets Parenting event for you and your kids. In the No Regrets Parenting book, I write that every child should start several businesses during childhood – from mother’s helper, to the lemonade stand, garage sales, babysitting, and lawn mowing –  ultimately progressing to real 9-to-5 summer jobs. The best part of kids starting these businesses is your consultancy – you provide the paper cups and ice for the lemonade, while teaching your kids about commerce, manners, counting change, etc. It’s all in the book.

But here’s an idea that’s not in the book because I hadn’t thought of it yet (I’ll save it for the sequel). Ebay with your kids. Ebay is a learning lab for IT skills (okay, very basic IT skills), smart shopping, comparison shopping, marketing, negotiation, market valuations, salesmanship, shipping and postal services, and even photography. All the skills, effort, and time required to buy and sell on ebay are better utilized, and more fun, if you do it with your kids. Of course, that’s true of just about anything, isn’t it?

Ebay’ing with your kids is another form of double-dipping, one of the crucial “staying sane strategies” that I describe in detail in the No Regrets Parenting book. Staying sane during parenting can be a real challenge. Double-dipping  teaches you to identify activities that you and your kids would each enjoy doing separately, and then do those activities together. No Regrets Parenting asks you to stop thinking about “time with the kids” and “adult time” as mutually exclusive. You’re busy, time is scarce, and the minutes each day that you can devote to your kids and to yourself are precious.  But think how much time you can save if you double-dip and don’t always feel you need to segregate time with the kids from adult time. Time with the kids can be adult time, and vice versa, if everyone’s enjoying themselves and accomplishing what needs to be accomplished.

Which brings us back to ebay. You need to buy something, or you need to sell something. Your kids need to be with you, learn from you, and grow new skills.

Start with their closets, and then move on to yours.

Do you ebay (can ebay be used as a verb?) ? Have you tried it with your kids? What are your ideas for double-dipping? Share your thoughts by clicking on the title of this blog post and entering your comments in the box that appears below.

2 thoughts on “No Regrets Ebay’ing?

  1. Eliz says:

    My 12 yr old son would like me to set up an eBay account so that he can buy & sell things to earn money. I am not sure that I am ready for this, although I know it would be a good learning experience. Any advice?

    • Harley Rotbart, M.D. says:

      Eliz – Like anything else, if you do this with your son it’s a GREAT idea. Ebay is an adult marketplace, and there are adult risks. Set up an account for your son, but you keep the password so he can only buy and sell with you there with him. This will take some time on your part – but it’s high quality time, working side-by-side with your son. Once or twice a day log on with your son and check your sales activity, shop for bargains, and enjoy each other’s company. And that’s “No Regrets Parenting” in a nutshell.

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