Parenting quandary(s) Need input

Discussion in 'Dancers Anonymous' started by pygmalion, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

  2. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    well, peach, thing is, at least as my house, that generally ends up going both ways...I think oftentimes my kids bring friends over just so that they can get mom rolling and watch the show... :)...which is fine...because then I know where they are
  3. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah and one other little tidbit is that, when I broached the subject to DS yesterday, his primary objection was that, if he gets a job, he'll stop getting allowance. (He currently gets a fairly generous allowance with some requirements and constraints.)

    What think y'all? I'm inclined to keep giving him an allowance even if he works. I don't want a job to seem punitive. He has his entire adult life to experience that. :lol:

    I think that, if he's making his own money in addition to allowance, he should have additional responsibilities and constraints.

    But I'm open to input.
  4. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    With all this good advice, bear in mind that a lot will depend on the personality of the child. All of you that are touting the lessons you learned working as a minor, well, I think it likely you might have had a similar experience, just delayed, if you waited until you were an adult to start working. There are ways to teach responsibility and delayed gratification besides a job. I'm afraid I've known too many people that have worked or are working that don't get these concepts to believe that a job in high school can effectively teach these lessons any better than other approaches.

    All that being said, I've been working since I was 10. My parents were working class, and I got no allowance, no luxuries from my parents. While I was a minor, everything besides food, home, and the clothes on my back I paid for myself. But that was a different time. During the summer, I would disappear after breakfast, and my parents wouldn't see me again until dinner time, with not the slightest clue where I had been. From what I have seen, such independence is rare today.

    I don't expect my kids to work before college. The oldest one gets privileges based on grades and behavior. The privilege in this case is an intense study of ballet. Between school and dance, there is not time for anything else (a good thing ;-) ). And the ballet teaches the value of discipline and hard work more than school does for a child with great mental gifts but maybe average physical gifts. As the other kids come to that age range, we'll probably have to find other ways to teach the lessons we want them to learn.

    I think we all learn how to be parents from our parents, whether in imitation, or deciding what not to do. One thing I took away from my own childhood is one approach does not fit every child.

    Back to the original question: many DFers have already called out their positive experiences with it. I would say, try it, just make sure to monitor things.
  5. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Well, what do you want to encourage?

    You could subsidize his working--think of it like a retirement matching program. Pick a percentage, and the more he earns, the more you match. I wouldn't let him take a financial hit by working (or not a big one), so you could use his current allowance amount as an income floor--if he earns less than that you make up the raw difference between his allowance and his wages.

    Or you could find some other way to incentivize it--less restrictions on earned income versus given income. Continue to give allowance, but set aside for something special.

    Dunno.
  6. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Yes to what you say, tiger. I didn't get a job until I was nineteen because, during high school, I was too busy with band, orchestra, marching band, and choir to have time. And I graduated at 18 because of a late birthday and the cutoffs for school attendance in my school district. So 19 was the earliest I could possibly have worked.

    It does depend on the kid and the circumstances.

    OTOH, in this case, because he's so young, we're talking just summer work only, so he'll have time on his hands. Why not let him feel some independence?
  7. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Exactly. If he works, especially if I "strongly encourage" it, I want him to have a positive experience. My taking away the big old hunk of cash he's currently responsible for would probably backfire. I like your matching funds idea. I could probably work with that.
  8. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    You could get all kinds of crazy and teachable. Let him accrue matched funds, but not "fully vested" until and unless he works the entire summer. Possibly include a bonus in addition to the vesting. I don't know what his personality is like, but perhaps he would be interested if you talked to him about your own retirement savings or program or something hokey and educational like that.

    (I'd have been fascinated. Then again, I was fascinated by pretending to be a bank teller, so YMMV.)
  9. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Missed this one while writing my last post. I'm afraid you are now experiencing the same problem our state and federal governments experience, and it goes back to my comments before about differences in personality. There are some people that consider it an embarrassment to be on the dole, and will do everything possible to get working and get off welfare. And there are some who would wonder why anyone would work if you can get money for free. It took me many years before I was comfortable taking any help from my parents, and when I did, it was when I didn't need it anymore. ;-)

    I think you can "tax" him based on an additional expense, worry, etc., you take on as a result of him working. ;-)
  10. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I think your situation is yours and you will strike the best balance....I only dabbled briefly with allowances for my kids...a) because they weren't inclined to ever do anything that was actually helpful enough to merit it...and b) because I have an objection to having to pay them to be productive members of the task pool around here...that I need help should be reason enough...absent that, good old fashioned guilt trip...aka, if you want to be a lazy pig at least know that you have disappointed your mother ....my gut feeling on it would be that part of growing up is that allowances are not things that grown ups get...they occasionally get gifts of gratitude from their parents for having been particularly helpful above and beyond, but not as a steady regular thing upon which they can rely...so that once they do become capable of having a job there is no real need for an allowance, it doesn't mean that if the job doesn't cover all of their expenses the parent won't be available to assist provided they are working hard at the job and holding up their end of responsibilities at home...but I could see a variety of perfectly acceptable ways of proceeding depending upon the personal history that the two of you have, which only you are able to assess
  11. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Well. Ya know. 14 is a mere two years away from a driver's license and wanting (and in Texas arguably needing) a car.

    I bet I could come up with some sort of incentive plan that motivates him to work for a car, especially since he is not getting a car for free. Not from me, anyway.
  12. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    tiger...I agree with your points...while I do see the merits of working early, as I said, for me it was never something I brought up with my kids, I merely allowed it on the exceedingly rare occasions in which they actually had the time and inclination
  13. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


    DS has had an allowance since he was six and started really getting on my nerves by asking for toys and disgusting fast food all the time. He had no concept of the value of money.

    So I came up with a budget that included toys, fast food, clothes, savings, entertainment and investments, etc. (all in reasonable amounts,) and that's what he gets for allowance, with some ground rules. For example, spending all of the allowance on fun stuff? No. Not unless you want to go naked. :lol: It's been very educational for him and much less stressful for me.

    I don't pay him to work around the house. Nobody pays me to work around the house.

    Effectively, I've given him control over and responsibility for most of the chunk of our family budget that's spent exclusively on him. He only hates it some of the time. *grin* But such is life. You can only spend limited resources once. It's never too early to learn that, IMO.
  14. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    gotcha...with the boy, we had no money when he was that age so it was irrelevant, with the girl, she never asked for anything, and I mean anything...but they did get to a space where friends were getting money for doing stuff around the house and...well..does not compute...plus, they pretty much don't really do that stuff well enough for it to even be imaginable even if I was inclined
  15. wonderwoman

    wonderwoman Active Member

    I got a job at 16, at McDonald's, and I can't for the life of me remember WHY. I wasn't driving, wasn't saving for a car. It might have been to earn some spending money for marching band trips to NYC. I remember whining about how much taxes was taken out. It was nothing, but it was a sneak preview of what was ahead.

    My mother thought it would be okay to "borrow" without asking $30 out of my $100 paycheck just because she was cashing it for me as I didn't have a checking account yet. That is a big deal to a 16 year old. Don't do that.
  16. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    That's a good point, ww. It's important that I respect him and his money. He already has a teen bank account at my bank, so cashing checks and tracking savings shouldn't be an issue.

    And my bank even issued him a debit card which I think is very cool, especially since it has no overdraft feature. He literally cannot spend money that is not in his checking account. And I can view his balances and spending pattern. All very cool, IMO.
  17. nucat78

    nucat78 Active Member

    I agree with Fas on work vs academics. School takes precedence.

    As far as menial jobs go, there are a lot of lawyers, bankers, teachers, and engineers who are now working scut jobs to keep food on the table and / or pay the mortgage and that's a lesson to be learned. A fellow dancer whines and moans that he can't find a job but refuses to consider anything that's "beneath" him. Good luck when the unemployment runs out, Chuckles. I'm not too proud to take a scut job if it means I keep my house...
  18. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Yes to all. Which is why I really like the work restrictions on 14-year olds. He's not allowed to work during the school year at all. Good. That's as it should be, IMO.

    And as far as scut jobs. Yep to that too. I've worked in factories and warehouses and done all sorts of other junk and paid my own way ever since I got my first job. Wouldn't have it any other way. I never have understood how so many people in need of a job think they should get one in their field and who settle for nothing less. How about getting a job before getting on your high horse?
  19. wonderwoman

    wonderwoman Active Member

    oooh... I say, let them overdraw and learn that if you spend money that isn't in there the bank will penalize you. He will have to learn to keep track of his transactions. My 25 year old ex-roommate had her debit card deactivated by her bank because she overdrew so many times. She doesn't watch her frivolous spending so that her rent and utility checks don't bounce.
  20. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    If he can't overdraw, he'll still have to keep track of his transactions (his checking account doesn't even have auto-transfer from savings.) And it's a heck of a lot cheaper than $35 per NSF.

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