I do get upset a bit when my cable bill comes and I realize we have stayed away from the TV. We have Time Warner, and we love them and their service. Granted, our Internet is included in this bill and we definitely make up for TV time with Internet time. We have gaming, streaming, and surfing going on most days at the same time. My daughter says a day wouldnít be complete in summer without watching past episodes of Greyís Anatomy on Netflix - sheís on season six. We watched a movie last night on Netflix weíd been waiting for awhile and that $7.99 a month is always a pleasure to see come off my bank account once a month. That fee and the Internet fee pay for themselves.
When you speak of summer you often speak of kids and jobs. Iím all for it, when you can find one. Most often they include washing dishes in a restaurant, working at a burger joint, or mowing yards in the hot sun. My daughter and son wanted a job this summer. They applied in the spring at several places, but didnít go after them full force. Summer came and along with it the cycle of soccer, their beloved sport. My husband and I chatted with them about getting a job Ė and we decided that they should not worry whether they get one or not. The ones they had applied for would take them out of being able to go to soccer when they wanted, and also to slave away at a job that was pointless. Yes, I said pointless. Let me explain.
We are all about kids being kids. We are also about kids having responsibilities Ė and those responsibilities come all too soon full force. Our older daughter could never find a job around this area, but when she went to college she found one right away. She worked there for almost six months, until she found another one coaching soccer and working in aftercare for kids at the Palm Beach Rec Center. She works there now, heading into her senior year at college, and even does the summer program. She didnít have a job at home, but still learned responsibility. She pays all her bills herself.
Our younger two didnít have luck finding a job either. My husband and I are of the mind that goes something like this: Donít do something just so youíre making a buck. There, I said it, and you can disagree with me all you want. I dislike the thought of kids driving back and forth to a job they hate just so they can make a few dollars. I dislike kids having to miss things they love about summer so they can be in a hot kitchen washing other peoplesí dishes. Sometimes itís a must, but most times itís pressure they feel to get a job. I think weíre gipping them out of their youth by forcing them to work.
Before you decide that Iím one of those moms that babies their kids Ė donít. When the job offers didnít roll in, my husband and I werenít upset at all. We sat them down and told them flat out that we were glad they hadnít got hired, and not to worry. We had plenty of things for them to do around the house that would get them the extra money they needed to hang out with friends, put gas in the car, and eat at their favorite restaurants. We have a yard that needs mowed, edges that need weed-eated, trash that needs taken out, and plenty of laundry for them to wash. The living room got painted by my son this summer, and I have lots of outdoor furniture that needs a new coat to freshen them up. In return for doing regular work plus extra, we give them a little money when they go out with friends. They are not greedy kids and they do this work without complaining. My daughter is great at saving what we give her and making it last for a very long time. My son has always sold one thing to buy another. Heís gotten all of his electronics this way. Our kids have learned responsibility, because most of the time they are doing this work while my husband and I are at our respective jobs. They know it had better get done or they wonít get to do what they want to do.
There is nothing wrong with a child having a job. For us, though, I would much rather have them at home doing work for me than having them slave away for someone else in a hot kitchen. Weíve also talked about entrepreneurial ideas and what they can do to make money for themselves right at home. A few ideas were advertising computer help for older people, getting groceries for shut-ins, or helping the elderly learn how to use a cell phone correctly. Innovative ideas start at home Ė we just need to plug the kids into the right socket. Right or wrong, itís the best decision for us and our kids. Too soon they head off to college and are plunged into adult decisions for the rest of their lives. We produced one child who has heeded that call magnificently, and two others that are well on their way. We want them to know that they can succeed in a different way Ė not to follow the crowd and mindlessly go toward the same jobs. Jobs can be created at home and be successful in a big way. We feel they are on the right track.
1) This is a great article on that entrepreneurial spirit for kids Ė letís encourage it! http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123975649228419167.htm
2) Here is another fabulous article in the same vein Ė we need to make our kids into thinkers and creators of business. http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2011/11/08/think-different-teaching-kids-to-be-entrepreneurs/
3) Payless is having a great clearance sale right now. Itís $10 off a $25 order with free shipping to store. Check it out. http://moneysavingmom.com/2012/07/payless-com-10-off-25-order-plus-free-shipping-to-store.html
Published: July 15, 2012