Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Kids and Work - My soapbox

Sharon (my sister) and I had an interesting conversation last week about teens and working.  While we were on the phone I got a call from my husband saying that Tyler was being asked to work at a local farm on Saturday.  HAPPY DAY!

This brought on an interesting conversation.  Somewhere in the back of both of our minds, it seemed ridiculous that my fifteen year old son and her boyfriend's sixteen year old daughter didn't work all summer.

While we were being raised, my sister and I both somehow if not through words or osmosis, maybe by example we were taught that at a certain age, you were old enough to go out and make some money and contribute to your family.  I mean,  I didn't have to turn my paycheck over to my parents.  In fact, the only thing they did do was occasionally give me a ride to work and help me open my first bank account.  Other than that, they had nothing to do with my money.  I had complete control over where it went and how it was spent.

What a great feeling that was!  There were eight children in my family!   My parents always made sure our needs were met, and the things we had were nice - I never felt deprived...  BUT if I wanted to get designer shoes, jeans or "Units" to wear.  (If you don't know what a "Unit" is, don't bother asking.  I still can't believe those were considered clothing items... that is it's own blog entry.) I had to pay for those things myself.

So, fast forward to my teenager. He's been fifteen for eight months and he FINALLY landed this Saturday job.    (Okay, so we found this job and didn't give him an option - I think sometimes you have to do that kind of thing, just so they can get over the fear and uncertainty of not knowing what to expect.)  He brought forty dollars cash home after four hours of bailing hay in the Arizona summer heat.  Forty dollars.  Ten dollars an hour.  Not too shabby for a "little boy." 

I asked him how it was to have all that cash on hand.  He's was pretty whiny about the whole thing for a day or so but came home from the first day of school yesterday excited about the prospect of having some of his own cash.  He bought himself some sugar cookies and gum. 

That kind of thing is empowering!

So my message about teenagers is... it is so important that they learn to work.  This is not a job friendly economy.  I'm not sure it's going to be SOOO much better when Tyler gets home from his mission in six years.  I mean, I hope it is but our economy's long term outlook isn't pretty.  These kids are going to need some skills, even if those skills only include waking up and making their bodies move to accomplish a task in a timely manner. 

Teach work and respect of money.  Don't get caught up in "letting them be kids."  There is still PLENTY of time in a teens life for downtime.  Tyler's does seminary, school, football practice, chores and still has time to come home and play basketball for an hour or so in the evening.  In this day and age, I'd say that is a perfect amount of downtime!

Alright, off my soapbox and off to do carpool....  It was great to talk to you Sharon, you are my "people."

Monday, August 8, 2011

Back to School 2011-2012


That's how I'm feeling today.  I miss my kids already. 

Don't get me wrong, they were really making me bonkers by the end of last week.  Really crazy!  It seemed like there were seven kids in the house because I sort of became one.  Whiny, "yelly,"  fussy and grouchy.  You know what I mean.  But I didn't actually want this day to come.  Now I have to figure out what to do with myself! 

Maybe my laundry will get completely done for the second time this summer.   Nope, not kidding - I know it is pathetic!  I just don't love laundry, I always have LOTS of it.  You know, it's in my blog's name.

Everytime school starts I feel like I'm experiencing a life changing event also.  Every year brings new experiences, my kids grow bigger and get a little more mature.  I get older... if not more mature  :).   But I always go through a few weeks of "panic attack" before I get settled into a new school year. 

Feeling better already here.  Thanks for listening!