Dear Grocery Store Cashier,
Please know that you do not have to feel sorry for my five year old son when he tells you that he (gasp!) earned the money for the candy bar he is currently (and quite happily) purchasing from you. You asked him where he got the dollar, and he told you. He earned it himself by folding laundry. No, I do not make him do this chore; he does it by choice. Yes, he folds the whole load, and yes, I have to refold much of what he's folded, but he didn't realize that until you said it in front of him. Thank you for pointing that out to a little boy who has taken much pride in his work.
While you were busy giving me the evil eye for "making" this young child earn his candy money, you completely missed the look of absolute pride on his little face as he bought this favorite treat with his very own money. Instead of commending him for his work, you gave him the impression that there was something wrong with working for his money. And he stood there, still smiling at you; still just happy to be buying his candy bar.
What you don't realize is that at five years old, he already knows that you have to work for what you want, and that you can't spend what you don't have. He also knows that it feels really good to help out the family. I think those are some pretty important lessons. And as he will someday be the one paying your social security, I bet you think they're important lessons for him to learn too.
And just so you know...he enjoyed every bite of that candy bar. I bet it tasted extra sweet to him knowing he'd earned it himself. And when he was done, he asked me if he could fold another basket of laundry....already planning ahead for our next trip to the grocery store. I hope you can find it in your heart to greet him with a smile and a word or two of praise the next time he ends up in your check-out line.