Hey, bet you never expected to see a “Common Sense” article on this subject. Many, if not most readers, may not even be aware that I’m a Dad and that I live with a Mom. She is actually the mother of my daughter, which is not always the case, but that is another subject. The reason I have brought forth this point is that I want you all to know that I speak from experience. I have in past articles lambasted people for preaching about that of which they have no real experience. Shortly, we will embark on a series of articles concerning “How to pick a life’s partner” which came about by a request from our daughter. You see, a father is important even in a daughters rearing.
We, Mom and I, started our daughter out early on the importance of money and work. She would help us out opening and closing the business which we owned at the time, a Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream Parlor. She would help wash the equipment and help sweep and mop the floors. This was done to give her pride of work and to teach her to manage the money she earned. I can remember putting her on the retail side of the counter as a customer and having her order a product, give me money and then tell me how much change she should receive. We also played out this in reverse; so she had to make correct change. All this started at the age of six. Now aren’t all you parents of teenage kids that have no job feeling foolish. You see, if you do not start them out early in life working and wanting to work for a pay check, then you are handicapping your child for life. You parents, who have done this to your child, are the ones to blame for the entitlement culture of today. It makes “COMMON SENSE” if you have given them everything all their life that they now expect me to continue the free ride as an employer. Sorry, it is not happening with me. If you haven’t prepared them for life’s hard knocks, then as an employer I must.
I also remember that when she was about eight years old she wanted a bike. I told her she could have one, but that she would have to buy it with the money she had saved. She and Mom were driving down the street one day and she spied a bike at the resale shop. They stopped to look and it “fit to a T”, just what she wanted. Only one problem, the shop wanted $10 and she only had $6. They came home and we discussed this over dinner and we decided that she could borrow the money from the family bank and explained that she would have to repay the loan with interest. A great learning experience, as she had no concept of interest; she does today and pays cash when ever possible. I know, I know, you are saying what a horrible Dad I was; but with this lesson of life and many others, she developed into a woman of great character and substance.
Early on, I tried to impress upon her that if she applied herself at school that when she graduated someone would offer her a scholarship to attend college. This did in fact happen and she received an excellent education at a private christian college where she graduated “Summa Cum Laude”. By the way, she worked at Sonic to help with her expenses during her college years. This again instilled in her the work ethic. Now, for all you saying how lucky we, as parents were, I must inform you we spent untold dollars sending her to a private christian school from the beginning. We felt that she would get a better education and be spiritually nourished at the same time. As it worked out, we were correct as she developed into a really fine christian lady with good judgements and good morals. It took both time and money, as we had to drive 25 miles each way for much of her school life, but it was worth it.
After college, she moved to D.C. for a job where she was on her own. She knew we were there as back up; but that we wanted her to experience what life had in store and did she. Those were not easy years for her, I’m sure; but because we had taught her to work and to think for herself, she came through it the wiser. Nothing or no one is a better teacher than life’s hard knocks and experience.
All of this is to point to the “COMMON SENSE” fact that if you coddle them all their life they will never developed into a real man or woman. Please use “common sense” and let them experience the pride of “making it on their own”. Now get out-of-the-way, let them earn their way in life, quit coddling them and just love and support them. After all, it just makes good ol “COMMON SENSE“.