Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Money, Money, Money and Teenage Attitude

I'm sorry, can someone tell my why I have children? Sure, they were cute when they were born, but as they age, they seem to be bent on making your life miserable.

MOM! Can I have money to go to the square? asks Ben.

Now, we had been giving them an allowance until after three weeks of their not doing the basic chores of- bringing their laundry downstairs, putting the clean laundry away, and taking the garbage and recycling out to the road. I was done. Jeanine was done. We were done.

Ben seems to think of me as an ATM. I have a wallet. I have money. I should pony up any time he asks. Zachary doesn't ask for money, tends to hoard all he has, but also hates to break down cardboard for recycling to the point of major despair. Jake likes to hide on Sundays, when it's time for chores.

Ben, though, is old enough to want to buy a slice of pizza, some pop, and candy with your friends. I don't blame him- totally reasonable. But yelling at me that it's not his job to take the trash out and it's the equivalent of child abuse isn't going to go very far.

I said, if you want money, you have to earn it. I'm happy to give you some work to do. having a home office, I have a lot of shredding to do, something always needs to be cleaned, and hey, there is a ton of laundry to do.

Mom! Just give me a couple dollars.


Why are you so mean?

I ignore this question. It seems rhetorical to me. Occasionally, though, I roll my eyes. (And then wonder why he is so sarcastic.)

All this leaves me in the position of being tired of saying no all the time, wanting him to be independent, learning some budgeting skills, and not just giving in and being the ATM.

I have two more behind him soon to want money on a constant basis too.

I just asked him to go down and get his brother from after school.

How much will you pay me?

Nothing. That is simply about being part of the family, I said firmly.

You have the worst sense of humor ever.

I do.



Blogger Patrick Vallely said...

Keep hanging in there! It's great seeing at least some parents trying to instill with their kids the value of money and work. Too many kids (and adults) out there with an overwhelming sense of entitlement. I plan to be the same way with our kids, not just for their own personal growth, but for my benefit too! For every kid or young adult out there who feels they are entitled to the world, there are parents who haven't saved a penny for their retirement or own financial security.

5:26 PM  
Blogger Ms. Moon said...

You have to stick to it. And institute a "no discussion" rule. These are the criteria for receiving allowance and that is that.
They'll try like hell to get you into a discussion about it but just don't respond.
It's your job to piss them off. Really. It is. Otherwise, they'll never leave.

5:56 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

Ms. Moon, I am going to have to change the locks to get the oldest to leave. That I know for sure.

8:35 PM  
Blogger LilliGirl said...

I'll be getting my eldest out of here someday...most likly with a crowbar! lol

When Mine say "you're so mean" I reply with "that's my job"

You know why babies are so cute right? It's just like puppies, that's how they get homes! lol

2:11 PM  
Blogger Ms. Moon said...

Lilli- and so we don't eat our young. That, too.

7:01 PM  
Blogger Ulla said...

Well - as always, I have an opinion :-)
You give them food because they need food. You give them clothes because they need clothes. You give them bikes because they need bikes, but - you won't give them money, even though you think they need money?
How about you give them the money you think they should reasonably have, considering their social lives, ages etc.
And then, completely unrelated, demand they do the part of household work they should reasonably shoulder considering their ages?
You have the - to me - misguided notion of playing "work place" in your own house all year round. You are a family, and should share finances, sorrows, work, meals, fun and everything as a family.
No wonder your kids are pissed off by being treated like employees by their mother.

2:57 PM  
Blogger Seda said...

I found "Unconditional Parenting," by Alfie Kohn, to be helpful and inspiring. Also I'm reading a book now called "Hold On to Your Kids," by Gordon Neufeld, Ph.D, and Gabor Mate, M.D., and finding it useful as well.

I know, you're a mom - like you've got time to read!

Good luck!

2:00 AM  
Blogger Ulla said...

And DON'T, whatever you do, institute ms. Moons 'no discussion'-rule.
That got you into trouble before, remember? With the music-lessons?
Of course you should discuss any disagreement, however infuriating, with your kids.
Here's a good rule of thumb: If you wouldn't dream of doing it to your partner, you can't do it to your kids, either.

3:54 AM  
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9:02 PM  

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