Class Ideas - Discernment

Read through to the end, I like to teach through storytelling.

Years ago I was walking through I. Magnin, a posh store in San Francisco, and a glamorous woman was standing in front of the perfume counter. She held a large spritzer of the newest perfume and she was both demonstrating the newest* proper method to apply perfume as well as spritzing every woman that came close with a sample. Now, most perfume stinks on me for some reason. I have only been able to wear 2 perfumes in my whole life Tabu which turned on me in my twenties and Opium which I wear to this day. Not in the woods mind you, where I live with the wildlife, they aren't particular as to my smell, but when I go to town.

When the glam gal spritzed my way, I jumped back. I looked down as well.

So, let's go back a moment. This is part A of the lesson to teach your child. Retail companies use complex methods to sell their products. Everything they say needs to be considered a professional presentation. I was fortunate I caught on early in life and don't waste my hard-earned dollars on fancy gizmos. I consider every purchase carefully so to get everything I need and only buy things that are important to my basic comfort. Teach this to your child. That is part A Sure, I do buy some purely frivolous things. But not often, my ratio of need verses want is 1 out of 10.

Part B. The company selling the perfume knew instinctively that to get more buying out of their customer they needed to teach them to waste more product. The practice of spritzing in the air and run through it to let the perfume gently float onto your body was instead designed to leave a large amount of your product wasted on the floor. Then you would have to buy more.

Thousands and thousands of women still spritz into the air and float through it just because a retail company told them they needed to apply perfume the right way.

The lesson to teach your child is don't believe everything you are told by companies and entities selling you their product. This goes for any entity. Retail or politician for that matter. They are skilled at telling you things that you have been conditioned to want to hear.

In the case of the retail company they sold women the idea that the only way to put on perfume was to walk through the spritz. How did I catch on? As I backed away from the proffered spritz, I noticed a damp circle of perfume all around that glamorous woman. The floor was thick with wasted product. It taught me to pay attention to the magic they were using to convince the customer. The perfume's cost was $40.00 dollars a bottle. That is an average price today but this was in the 1980's. At that time, that was very spendy.

The lesson the home school parent should teach is discernment when buying anything. Managing money is a critical skill. Not letting others use deceptive practices to sell you wants is the lesson.

How do you teach this? The best way is by example. Explain what they are seeing in the world and the purpose for their behavior. Best of all find someone to be a mentor to them. Not from hollywood, or from sources that go out of their way to contort the truth. It starts with you; you are their example.

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