“Dad, can you give me gas money?” “Mom, can I have money to buy new shoes?” “Mommy, can we buy some candy?”
Give me, buy me, get me. Whether your child is five or fifteen, they tend to assume that you will have an ‘open wallet policy’. It’s never too early, or too late, for them to understand the importance of work and the satisfaction of paying their own way. It has nothing to do with your personal finances, or that you may be able to indulge their every desire. It’s about preparing them for life after they leave the nest, or preparing them so they can leave the nest.
When I was 17, I wanted a portable electric typewriter to take to college. (Yes, it was the dark ages, when this item was the latest and greatest.) My Smith-Corona was going to cost $300, a small fortune. My parents told me if I earned half, they would pay the rest. The deal was done. A few months later I had my typewriter, and a great deal of pride in my accomplishment.
Most parents do give in to their kids’ requests. You are not doing them any favors. You have an obligation to teach them how to work and make money, how to problem-solve, take the initiative, and appreciate what they have. You don’t have to give a lecture. Just let them know you expect them to step up and contribute to their own cause.
Tend to this now. You don’t want a 20-something living in your basement still asking you for money, do you? This is one more step in grooming your children for success.
Fern Weis is a certified life coach who learned that caring and good intentions are not enough in parenting. In fact, they are often the problem! Fern supports parents of teens and young adults who are going through difficult situations, including addiction recovery. She helps parents release guilt, end enabling and confidently prepare their children to thrive through life's challenges. Her articles are featured in Thrive Global, Medium, Motherly, The Teen Mentor, and Bergen County Moms.
Learn more about coaching and classes at www.fernweis.com. And then download your free guide, "Five Powerful Steps to Get Your Teen to Talk." For information on Family Recovery programs, visit www.familyrecoverypartners.com.