Working for Pay

It was a lecture I’d given before. It felt like I was always giving it to no effect, but any time my kids began pouting because they didn’t have money to buy what they wanted, the lecture just falls right out of my mouth. I can’t help it, because it is infuriating that I spend weeks trying and trying to get my kids to do work. I offer them money. I offer them more money than the job is actually worth because I really want someone else to do it, because I can’t to all of the things by myself. I practically beg “Please take this money and make this dumb task go away.” They always decide not to. They don’t want anything right that minute, so they would rather play. Or maybe they do want something, but they don’t want THAT job. Or they want one job that will give them all of they money they need instead of seeing that multiple small jobs can add up to a lot of money. So they decide not to work. And then a few weeks or months later they come and be sad at me because life is not fair and they never get anything they want. Then they get the lecture about the value of work and why small jobs are worthwhile with a side order of the importance of planning ahead.

So Gleek was sad about not having a mermaid tail. She’d spent her birthday money on other things and been happy at the time, but today the lack of funds to buy a tail was tearful. And the lecture fell out of my mouth and landed on her. It made her sad/mad. But then something happened which has not happened before. She slammed out of the house and mowed the front lawn. Lawn mowing is one of the standard paid work jobs that I’m having to beg kids to do. As she mowed, she did math in her head. She asked questions about whether she could also take over mowing sections of the back yard. I told her about other work that I’d be delighted to have her do.

Only time will tell if she actually sticks to her plan of earning money week after week. I really hope she does. I could use the willing help. I would also be relieved if I could see my kids recognizing that they have to work for the things they want.

Addendum: I should note that my college age daughter, Kiki, does understand that work is necessary. It is the three live-at-home kids who have yet to grasp the concept.

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