Should we give allowance to kids?

I am writing not to offer advice this time but more in a seeking capacity, so anyone who has insight and can offer some feedback on allowance giving, please do.
I have teenagers, and I struggle with whether to give the allowance or not.
I have always been against:

  1. Paying for grades, I think it’s my kid’s responsibility to do their work and bring in good grades, and I don’t think they should be paid for this, am I wrong?
  2. Paying for chores, I think they need to contribute to the home as members of our community, and again don’t feel I should need to pay for doing what they need to do.
  3. So with me being against these things, how do I encourage and develop money management skills if they are not working? What are my options here?
    I have thought about giving them a weekly allowance as a matter of course, then deducting as behavior and grades fluctuate. Is this a good strategy? What do you guys do?

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Life after divorce

No one enters into marriage planning a divorce, at least no one I know. When the marriage doesn’t work individuals are left with hurt feeling, probably bitter, and feeling war torn. But how long should those feeling last, and should you let these feeling influence your attitude towards future relationships and the institution of marriage itself?
I think if you are that person who has been so damaged by the divorce process that you can no longer trust another, therapy may be needed. Everyone is different, and the fact that your marriage did not work is not a reflection of the process or institution itself, it’s a reflection of you and the individual you were married to. Marriage as an institution is a beautiful thing; it’s about two people loving each other, committing to each and taking care of each other. Yes, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but again this is not because marriage as a concept is bad. I will concede that the court system is screwed up, the lawyers are on the take and the spurned ex spouses are hell, BUT the system only does what we ask it to do, lawyers work for us and not the other way around. We ultimately control the direction that our divorce process takes. We make the decision on how much we want to fight and what we think is worth fighting for.
You must look at yourself and ask, what was my contribution to my failed marriage and divorce? It take two, there are two sides to the story and each will tell it differently. Only after facing the reality of your shortcoming and the reality that issues are a part of life and marriage can you be healed to move one to the next phase. So don’t let your passion and emotional health be destroyed by this one event in your life….life is too short to be spent being bitter. Staying angry hurts you, not the person you are divorced from. As a matter of fact, the ex-spouse has won if he or she has succeeded at keeping you angry and keeps you away for developing and maintaining a new caring and loving relationship; that’s exactly what they don’t want you to have as you move on with your life.
I say live life to the fullest, move on from your divorce and let yourself love again!

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Bad marriages and the kids

I have heard many people say regardless of how bad marriages are couples should stay in it for the kids as they need and deserve to be in a two parents household. Frankly, I disagree. being in a miserable household where the two parents are fighting all the time or are simply not affectionate doesn’t model what marriages is for the kids, let alone what a good marriage should look like, and it’s important for kids to see this.
If for whatever reason the marriage no longer works and both people are miserable, in my opinion it’s best for the children to have two happy, sane and loving parents living apart than two bad behaving adults living together. Again by separating, we are modeling how conflicts can be resolved in a mutually agreed up manner.
My marriage disintegrated and was dysfunctional for years, when I finally ended it, one of my children asked, “what took you so long.”
I was surprised that this question was asked. Children are observant, they are living the marriage just as we are, and if we are miserable, chances are they are too.
Adults need to realize when a marriage is over, accept that it is over, separate and be mature adults about the process. A marriage is a contract and partnership between two people, and just as some contracts and partnerships should be dissolved so should some marriages.
Don’t get me wrong, parents should do all they can to rehabilitate their marriages, however when all attempts have failed, it can mean it’s time to pull the plug, and that can be best for all including the children.

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Sick Kid

Do you have a kid who is more needy than the others? It feels like that one takes more out of you? sicker, whinier, and in general harder to manage.

I have one of those, and one of the hardest thing to determine; is he truly sick and can’t go to school, or is he just faking it?
I have a general philosophy, if you have no fever, and does not show visible signs of dying, then you must go to school. This guy has always find ways to get around that rule 🙂 He can make himself show visible signs of dying. I will allow him to sit out school, and I am told as soon as I leave home to head out to work, he’s fine, up and watching television. Of course, when I call home, he’s groaning and whining.

I will have him for another 4 years before he’s gone off to college, until then, we will keep playing the game of sick or no no sick.

 
How about yours?

 

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The Agony of Summer

As a working mom, one of my most dreaded time of the year is Summer.  The school year is ending and the big question is what to do with the kids? Keeping them at home is one option, however, my phone would not stop ringing at work, I might as well be home as I will be playing referee over the phone all day and coming up with ideas daily to keep them out of trouble in the neighborhood.   The other option is summer camps, and this is the best one for me; although expensive, it works best as I know where they are, and I don’t have to worry about them being bored and doing something they are not supposed to.  Summer is the one time of the year when I regret not being a teacher!  They get to spend summers with their kids, oh, such luxury!

So , as the school year winds down, I start to look for Summer camps starting in March, believe it or not, the really good ones get filled up even before then, I usually end up on the waiting list of some.   I try to do a mix of educational and sports camps.   This year we are doing football, basketball, swimming, a sleep away christian camp, Spanish, and rock band.   It cost a whole lot to do these camps, but the alternative of the kids running around with nothing to do could end up costing a lot more, so I justify the cost with this rationale and move on.

Another summer wish I have is that the kids had grandparents that they could go and spend the summers with on a farm, that would be so nice.  As a matter of fact, that would be a really nice summer camp idea, someone could start a farm, and kids come and work it for the summer for minimum pay!  Of course the government would be getting them for child labor, but I am telling you, it would not be a bad idea.  I think the thirteen year olds should be able to start working, but they are viewed as minors and are not allowed.

Summer should not and does not have to be a time of misery for you, make sure you schedule some vacation time during this time.  I do take two weeks off from work and spend it with the kids doing fun activities.  This is usually the highlight of their and my summer.  So as we roll into another Summer, I look forward to the two weeks, and groan in misery about the other eight…..how about you?

Do you like summers as a working mom?  Does the three months give you a headache just thinking about it?  Share your thoughts.

 

 

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Working Moms

WeMomsWork is a Blog that covers all aspects of a working mother’s life. Issues ranging from protecting the kids on social media such as Facebook are discussed. We share how to deal with kids and cell phones, step parenting strategies, and many work related topics such as interviewing.
This is a one stop shop for moms looking for advice and tools! If you visit and think a particular topic should be discussed let us know, suggestions are welcome!!

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Sharing Personal Information With The Kids —- How Much Is Too Much?

In teaching our kids how to live, and to help them gain some perspective, we sometimes end up sharing our past experiences.  Because of this desire to be honest and not hypocritical, do we end up sharing too much information?  How much is too much, and should we feel guilty or hypocritical for telling them not to do things that we might have done ourselves?

First, let me begin with the sharing experiences aspect.  I think we can share as much as it relates to the particular situation on hand, there is no need to delve into the gory details of our past experiences or into subject matters that are not age appropriate while doing so.  Here is a common scenario….a 13 year old asking if you had sex before marriage after you told her not to.  I think you can be honest in the matter and tell the truth whatever it is.  If the answer is yes, you can then explain the negatives consequences of that action, and explain that for those reasons you just outlined, you are discouraging the same to protect her from the hurt and pain that you might have experienced.  Your painful experience or experiences this has caused in your life can be used to further drive home your point.  On the other hand, if the answer was no, you can then explain why you went this route, and what the benefits were of doing so, and why it’s beneficial for her to wait as well.

In the latter case, I don’t think you need to delve into or share the excruciating detail of any past relationships.  You only need to be sharing information as it is relevant to the exact question.  The situation is similar to a 4 year old asking where babies come from, we don’t bog them down with a detailed discussion of biology, we answer only the question asked with a general answer such as, “A baby comes from a mommy and daddy when they love each other.”   This was a simple example of course, but I am just trying to illustrate that we need to share only necessary information, making it brief and to the point.  The amount of personal information and experiences shared will of course increase as the kid grows, but in all cases, only share what is relevant.

The same is true for conversations regarding smoking or drug use.  If you are a parent who had indulged at some point in your life, and your kids want to experiment, I think you can be open with sharing information when explaining why they should not by giving your negative experiences, ensuring that at no point in the conversation you glorify the behavior.  If your kids are not moving in that direction nor are asking drug usage questions as it relates to you, I see no purpose in sharing such information about your past experiences.  In my opinion, such experiences are only worth sharing if they serve the greater good to be a teaching tool by presenting the information in a more real and relational way.  If it’s just information being presented for information’s sake, to open up unnecessarily or to even seem cool to your kids, then I think it can be left alone.  Of course, at some point you will and absolutely should be discussing drugs and sex with your kids, however, what I am talking about here are the demerits of the unnecessary sharing of some personal experiences and information when a generic answer would suffice.

Let’s address the hypocritical or guilty feelings when telling our kids not to do things that we probably did ourselves.  Personally, I don’t feel any guilt at all when telling my kids to do the rights things, regardless of my past experiences.  If I myself had made a mistake in the past, I tell them just that.  I made some terrible judgments, and then let them know that it’s my job to protect them from the pain that could possibly come to them if they make the same mistake or mistakes.  Why should we feel guilt or hypocrisy in the attempt to protect our kids from harm, or possible pain, and or hurt?

In the end, you have your own value system, and will do what is right for your kids and family.  Keep in mind that some kids may be more mature than others and can handle amounts of information differently, so you will need to make the determination on how much information to give to each kid, if you choose the path of full disclosure.  Just remember, kids are not miniature adults, so let’s be careful about how much we share and when.

 

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Should My Kids Want My Job or Career?

My friends kids and mine all have this in common, they don’t want our careers. Without exception, they all say no. It never fails, regardless of the standard of living we have made for them to be comfortable.  When asked what they want to be, they choose something at the other end of the spectrum.  Is it cultural, or is it that we make our lives and careers seem too formidable and restrictive for ours kids?  I will address a bit of both.  These kids are indeed different from us culturally as they are growing up in a different age, and also we have to be careful how we portray or jobs and workplace. [Read more…]

It’s Ok To Have Me Time

So you get home from work, and you are met at the door with screams of, “MOM” and everyone is waiting to tell you about their day.  You are tired, but you smile and ask all the right questions, and now it time to unwind, and deflate from your day.  How do you get your time, and should you feel guilty for wanting it? [Read more…]

Should I Give My Kids A Cell phone?

When do you think a kid should get a cell phone?  This answer varies depending on who is asked.  I have heard some parents say not until the kids can pay for it themselves, and I have heard other say 16, 13 etc. etc. [Read more…]