The Ping Pong Paddle Story

M at age 6, in his first year of Primary school.

I love my children but sometimes, they drive me up a wall, through the wall…up and through multiple walls. Today, my son comes home and tells me (rather proudly, might i add) that he spent $5.90 at school recess today. I asked on what and he promptly takes out this Table Tennis paddle that looks old, broken and used. I was speechless.

First of all, he only gets $3 per day for recess. In an attempt to start inculcating the good habit of managing his own money, we give him allowance weekly. That is $15 per week. The point, of course, is so that he understands that if he eats 2 bowls of noodles on Monday, he is going to have to take a lunch box to school one of the other days of this week because he wont have the money for noodles on one of the days.

Clearly, I worried about the wrong thing and should have given him a talk on the school bookshop and how he should not be buying old and broken Table Tennis paddles for $5.90!

Ping Pong Paddle

The more I’m looking at this paddle, the more upset i feel.

Firstly, are school bookshops these days so desperate to earn money that they are willing to scam a little 6 year old boy of his weekly pocket money, which by the way, is for food since he will need to last 6 hours in school and his last meal before that would have been at 6am.

Secondly, why are the schools allowing the bookshops in school to sell old broken garbage to students? The problem here is not just that my now 6 year old paid $5.90 for a Table Tennis paddle but that he paid $5.90 for an OLD, BROKEN, obviously used one. Why and how is that allowed in a primary school where kids are supposed to have a safe space to learn the foundation skills needed in life. One of which is money management.

I wonder if this is something i should be going to school to talk to them about? Or is this the normal that I will just have to swallow and accept. AARGH!!!!