“The Girl” has gotten to the age were she is being asked to babysit, she will be 14 soon. While she is responsible, she can barely do for herself most of the time, so I’m leery of her caring for others, but hey, she’s not my kid nor is she watching my kids (although she does watch my babies, aka dogs, for a few hours after school when she is home).
As a teen she also has a need for funds to buy the things she wants and do the things with her friends she wants to do. At our house those funds need to be earned, for the most part, as she needs to learn the value of money and responsibility. This has been an ongoing battle, which I’ve mentioned in previous blogs. We had a list of routine chores for her and if completed each week, she received an allowance. This worked for a while, but honestly, managing the list was more work for me than just doing the work myself. I typed up the list, on a grid so she could easily check the items off. She had to be reminded constantly and the excuses and arguments were endless. The system was designed for her to complete her daily tasks before we got home so we could start dinner eat and spend time together as a family. This rarely happened. Then the weekend would roll around and she would be mad that she was not getting her money since she did little or nothing. Finally she got to a point were she just didn’t do the chores when she didn’t need money, so we did away with the system.
Over the past several months the deal has been, the chores she used to get an allowance for are to be done, without argument or payment, these are things that members of a family do. There are larger jobs that she can do for larger sums of money. Most are undesirable: yard work mostly. At the beginning of each week she is told what extra chores are available for her and how much she will be paid upon completion (no payment in advance, learned that lesson the hard way). She can decide when making her plans if she wants to earn the money, use money she may have from her moms or babysitting or plan things with friends that don’t cost money. On our end, nothing is last-minute or unclear.
Last week, the above happened as always. She was told she could remove the leaves from the back patio (they collect under the stairs, in the corners and under the table) and the three flower beds around the house. She put it off all week, then Saturday when her plans changed, she needed cash, fast. Full disclosure, she didn’t NEED cash, she had plenty, but calmed she had that “spent” and couldn’t use it. She had two options: use her cash or get to work. In typical teen fashion she waited until after 2:00pm on Saturday to start (she was supposed to leave at 6:00) and for the first hour she maybe worked 20 minutes. Then whining started. “This is hard”, “How long have I been working?”, my personal favorite, “I need a raise”. I wasn’t getting involved. I have very little patience for the entitled brat behavior. Long story short: she completed a 4th of the work. She was given part of the money for the evening, only because her father was taking some of her friends, so he wasn’t going to ruin everyone’s night. The next time she is home she has to finish the other 3/4 and with no payment. She screwed herself, I don’t feel sorry for her.
Next up, babysitting on New Years Eve.
Seems a family two doors down from her mom’s house asked her to babysit NYE. She is with us that weekend, so she asked us. She was told they would have to bring her home when they got in, which she was SHOCKED we would suggest such a thing. I told her that was very typical and we were not planning our evening around the plans of people we don’t even know (but her mom does). She wasn’t happy, again, she wants the money. I told her we were willing to drop her at her mom’s house *(who will be out of town for the holiday) on our way to our dinner, then could walk down and they could bring her home. She said she could not ask them that, so she just declined the job.
What the hell? How is it our responsibility to shuttle her around, on NYE no less? She is starting high school in the fall, its well past time for her to think the world revolves solely around her and that we are expected to do what she wants, when we want, no questions asked. She asked for money for Christmas, which I’m not keen on , more so now since money is really becoming the hot button in our house. Do you think getting her Monopoly and pointing out that there is “money” in the game will work? 😉