Sunday, December 7, 2008

Parenting...Just a Difference of Opinion

Morgan was recently sharing a conversation with us that took place between her and a friend.

Apparently, Morgan was sharing that she couldn't wait until she turned sixteen because that's when she can go to work. Morgan told her that she was very excited to be able to go to work and earn her own money. We have given Morgan an allowance since she was five, but she's had to earn it by doing her chores.

When Morgan was ten, we taught her how to write checks and keep (add and subtract) a check register. Dirk made up dummy checks on the computer and if we were out shopping and ended up loaning Morgan money to buy something, she would have to write us a check when she got home and then balance her register. We did this for a couple of years. We plan on doing the same with Jaelyn.

Dirk and I both HAD to work as young teenagers. We both went to work when we were fourteen. We truly believe today that it helped us become more independent in life. Morgan doesn't HAVE to work. We feel that her allowance should be enough for the chores she does. However, we're not going to hand her everything on a silver platter and she knows it.

Anyhow, back to their conversation. When Morgan told her friend that she wanted to work, the girl asked if she was stupid, or what? She went on to say that she was definitely not going to work because her parents give her EVERYTHING she wants and also shared the fact that her brother is thirty years old and her parents still paid for everything for him, as well. Morgan told us that she felt sorry for her friend because of this. We were so proud of her for realizing this.

She and Morgan have been friends for a couple years now so we know her. Unfortunately, she suffers from depression, lack of self esteem, and feels that her parents don't even like her most of the time. Do you see what's wrong with this picture?

Her family may have more money than they know what to do with but what does it matter if your child suffers from these issues and feelings inside? Sounds to me that there may be plenty of money but very limited time, which is more important a thousand times over!

I hope that I am not stepping on anyone's toes, but I really HATE hearing stuff like this. I would never knock a parent for not allowing their child to work during school year. The problem that I have is when a parent hands everything to their child and then expects for the same child to leave home and live a proper, independent life when they move out. Go figure!

I too feel sorry for this young girl. Not that she chooses not to work at sixteen or during the school year, but that there are so many issues that are being overlooked.

Whew! I feel better!

For those of you have asked.....we've had a great weekend getting to know our new puppy! I'll post a complete update before the week is out. I'm really doing good! Thanks for your prayers and all your wonderful encouraging comments! I REALLY appreciate them!


Jennifer said...

I couldn't agree with you more!
This reminds me of a conversation my son & I had over the summer. We heard that Chik-fil-a hires a few 14 year olds to work there in the summer. Although, I think there is a catch to it, like you can only work so many hours a week, but nevertheless, my son became so excited. That is all I heard all summer. "I can't wait until next summer so I can work". Then it changed to he was going to work at AMC Theaters, then it changed to Sam's Club. I told him I was very proud of him for having so much enthusiasm about working. I told him to keep it within him, and when the time comes, hopefully, he will still be eager and ready to work. Great post!

Speaking from the Heart said...

You are doing an awesome job with Morgan. When I was growing up, I had to pay 50 % of my dermotology bill, and clohtes. When I was a junior in high school, my mom and I went to the UA girls' dorm on weeekends to sell avon. This was how I paid my first semester college tuition. I also had to pay for my own wedding. I am grateful for what my parents have taught me. Without a doubt, I am sure Morgan will feel the same.


Everyday Mom Designs said...

I totally agree with your views on this. :) Props to you and your child.

Alicia said...

Hi Daphine!
I totally agree with you!! We would be doing more of a disservice to our kids if we handed them everything they wanted, and on top of that, not teach them the life skills they need when they are on their own. For example, I homeschool my kids, but they still have to wake up early because later in life, they cannot think that they can get up whenever they want to. They need structure and order.

That's so sad about your daughter's friend. It sounds like your daughter and even your family can be a light to this girl. Unfortunately, so many families don't have the time, or desire to have that "family time." That old saying is true, "Money can't buy happiness." Believe me when I say this, we are a one income family, and have been for 10 years now. It's totally by God being our provider that we have been able to do so. Of course, money can get tight, but we have what we need. Our kids do not lack anything, but they may not have the newest video game as soon as it comes out. However, we are a very active family and practically do everything together. But, you know what the biggest blessing is? Is when people comment on how happy and healthy our kids look and behave. And really, that's all that matters, right??

Jennifer Raack said...

I definitely agree! Adam will be working in the summer (we don't require a school year job because he's in all AP classes). If he wants money to go on a date or buy his girlfriend a gift, etc. he has to do things to earn it (such as mow the yard, mow his grandfather's yard, vaccum, dust, etc). If you give a teenager a free ride, he or she will expect free rides as an adult. It takes love to expect them to work...because you are doing it for their own good, for their future. I like the check book / register idea you did for Morgan. I'm going to steal your idea and use it on my younger kids! Thanks!

Anonymous said...


I was raised in a household where the parents didn't have a lot of money. We had what we needed but very rarely got what we wanted. I started working part time when I was 16. I have worked full time since 21 and worked full time all through college. Bryan came from a well off family and his Dad spoiled him rotten. Since that was all he knew he did the same to me. I kind of let that go to my head for a long time. I bought the best of everything. Without going into a lot of detail we were brought to our knees several years ago. We are different now in how we think about money. We see everything as a blessing and are very humble. Boy, you sure learn a lot in your 20s.

We have also experienced the friend who gets everything. For a long time it made me angry but now I realize that these "gifts" come at a price. The main one is no independence. That isn't worth it to me so Bryan and I make our own way.

It sounds like you are teaching your girls very well. They will be hardworking productive citizens. You have every right to be proud!

Denise said...

I totally agree with you on this issue my friend, you are a wonderful mom.

Lee said...

Holy jeese! I'm sorry I haven't been commenting your blog. I'd forgotten to put you in my list! Man, okay, won't happen again!

April said...


I'm right there with you, girl! I think it is so important for kids to learn to make their own way in this world. I had my first (of many) jobs when I was 16. It really was an eye-opener and made me appreciate every single cent I earned. It helped me mature and become more independent. Plus, I came to appreciate all my parents provided for me, rather than taking it for granted.

I think that today, parents are more concernd with being a "best friend" to their kids, than teaching them to shoulder some responsibility. We're harming our kids more than helping them.

You and Dirk sound like you're doing an awesome job of raising Morgan and Jae! Give yourselves a pat on the back!

Wendy said...

Totally in agreement with you on this one Daphine! I also got an allowance when I was little, but had to do chores for it, and then worked 2 weekend jobs from the age of 15 so I could go out and have fun, My Mum and Dad were not in a position to give me every last thing I wanted, but I sure got what I needed, and thats a lesson in confidencea and independance,which is worth more than money in the long run!
Hope puppy training is going OK!

He And Me + 3 said...

I couldn't agree more. I worked babysitting and stuff from the time I was 10 years old. Instills such good values and work ethics too. I do feel sorry for kids that are handed everything. Very sad.

Stacey said...

You are raising your kids right!

We believe in the power of work also. My 19 year old son has had his own lawn service for several years. This year we told him it's time to punch a time clock.

My 16 year old hasn't had a job yet but he's so busy in school that he really doesn't have time...yet. We've told him that summer is coming!

I would say that our kids have been fortunate. However, compared to the community we live in they don't always see it that way. Paul and I are OK with that. If we give them everything then they won't learn how to earn their own way!

Greg C said...

We are on the same page on this issue. We make our children work and now my oldest son is already making money and is so much more responsible than any of his friends. He bought his own first car and saves his money for college. Most of his friends have already wrecked the first car that their parents gave them because they just aren't responsible. Now if you want something free, please check out my blog.

Mod Girl said...

I agree... the sense of accomplishment after working hard to earn something is a feeling all kids should experience. And, it makes them more appreciative for the things that are given to them.

Sandy Toes said...

I totally AGREE!!! My parents could of given me anything a Teen desired. However, I had to gave me a great work ethic and apprciated what my parents did!! Great post!
-sandy toes
I almost feel sorry for that friend...her life may be worse b/c of it!

Heather said...

great post. I totally agree with you 100%. I too had to get a job at 14. Morgan sounds so mature. You and Dirk are doing so great with both the girls. Very proud in deed.

Named Alicia said...

You are so right Mama! Kids need to learn the value of money. And they need to learn independence. They have to learn how to stand on their own two feet. It's a hard lesson to teach, but so important!

Jill said...

You guys are such great parents.

Unfortunately, I grew up like Morgan's friend. I had everything handed to me by my mom and I had a very hard time learning how to live on my own. I never did a load of laundry until I went to college. I never had to do chores or pay for things myself.

I know that my mom did the best she knew how and I would never critisize her for this now. Fortunately, I finally learned what it means to be a responsible adult. I have also learned from the mistakes my mom made raising me and I will not do the same with my daughter!

It's so amazing how your childhood reflects on everything you do later in life.

Melissa said...

you guys are doing such a great job with Morgan and Jae!

one of our ministers said the other day that if you want to know what kind of person you, they just need to look at your children, because your kids reflect the things that they see their parents do and what they hear around the home.

good job with your wonderful girls! keep up the good work!

Debra said...


Great post! Josh began working at 14 because he knew he was going to be driving at 16 and needed to save for a car. It creates a good sense of a hard work ethic and a healthy sense of responsibility.

I'm in complete agreement with you. A sense of entitlement never did anyone any good. And good for Morgan having a great sense of monehy principles...good stuff for life application. So many kids just don't know it.

Blessings to you today!

Lorrie said...

Daphine I'm in total agreement with you here. I worked when I was in high school--with five kids we had everything we needed and were comfortable, but none of the luxurious extras that kids today have come to take for granted. You're doing the right thing with your girls and you won't regret it--neither will they!

michele said...

I hear you! Too many young people DO have everything handed to them and it is doing them such a disservice!
I think teaching our children responsibility is soo important. And summer jobs during the highschool years is a must.
By the way, your little dog is soo cute!

Look Beyond The Picket Fence said...

I think what you are doing is raising a child to be able to take care of herself. If you can say that, you have said a lot and did your job as a parent.
Your new addition is so cute....I love dogs, but I must admit, they intimidate me.
So much to do....

Hi! I'm Grace said...

As usual, your post is very interesting to read... :) I like the way you raised your daughters. :)

Anonymous said...

You are dead on!!!! Gary and I both started working young as well. It's the right thing to do. If you teach your kids they never have to work for anything, then they won't. You certainly don't want to teach entitlement...none of us are owed anything. We are blessed to have what we do and it is Biblical to work for what we have. You and Dirk are awesome parents and role models. Keep up the good work. God honors your efforts.

Anonymous said...

Great post!

There is a certain pride (the good kind) that comes along with responsibility too!

Darlene said...

I totally agree with you. When kids are handed everything to them on a silver platter and never have to work for anything they really don't appreciate anything including themselves. It sounds like you are doing a fabulous job with your girls. I hope to do the same with Lexi.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Hi, Daphine! I think it's good that you are teaching your child an appreciation for work. Giving them love is the most important thing you can give. Glad the puppy is working out! Sending much love your way...



Lorrie said...

Just checking in to say hello Daphine. Hope your week is going well and that Gucci is settling in! I know you're going to do so well with him, you're an inspiration to me girl!

Brandi said...

I completely agree with you!! I also had to work when I was in high school to pay for my car insurance, gas, etc - and I think it made me more independent. We will definately make sure Kaeden learns the same lesson. There's something to be said for the pride you have when you know YOU EARNED something!!

Edie said...

Clearly I have fallen behind in my blog visits. :)

I love this post. You are SO, SO right! Parents who hand their kids everything are NOT teaching those kids responsibility (my middle name. :) ) Seriously, I started working when I was 15 (couldn't get a job earlier but tried) and worked my whole life. I was a single mom and never had any help. If I had had everything handed to me, there is no way I would have survived life. Mommy and daddy will not be there to take care of those kids all of their lives.

Now look, you got me going on a subject I'm passionate about. HaHa!

I love, love, love that you teach your kids how to balance a checkbook. I can't believe the number of people I know that are clueless about this. Why isn't this requied ciriculum in our *wonderful* educational system??? Ok done. :)

I'm so glad you're getting along with Gucci! Looking forward to the update.

Nicolle said...

I agree with you 100%! I know someone very close to me that didn't have to work, do chores, do anything on her own. She's now mid 20's and is totally helpless on her own.

It sounds like Morgan already has such a great head on her shoulders, thanks to you and your husband. Way to go! :)

Life with Kaishon said...

I think that is so smart. Kaish doesn't have an allowance yet, but he will when he turns 9 (which is so stinkin' soon!) When Kaish was a baby and toddler and all the way up until he was 5 years old we would go to the bank on Fridays and deposit money in his account. I would always tell him it was for college someday. I wanted him to learn to save instead of just spend, spend, spend.

We talk about money all the time. How much things cost, how much we earn etc. I don't want money to be some big mysterious cloud over his head when he gets out into the real world. I want him to know he has to save, give to God, and spend when he needs to. Not just when he wants to : ).

I think we will get the dog, but it is really up to Gary. He told me last night "probably" so we will see.