Why do teenagers think that everything is handed to them?

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Angie - posted on 07/10/2009

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We can't expect teenagers to suddenly become responsible if we never gave them responsibilities when they were younger. My children have all learned how to take care of money because I've shown them how to do it. They clip coupons and help me make grocery lists. My 16 year old had a job last summer and one this summer. He saved his money because he has an old pickup and wanted to fix it up. This summer he has installed a new stereo system into it, replaced some parts that went bad and next week he will be having it painted. In addition, he buys his own clothes and provides all his own spending money. This doesn't happen overnight, it's been a 16 year learning process.

Lori - posted on 07/10/2009

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My first husband died 5 1/2 years ago. I remarried 1 1/2 yrs later. He has 3 kids which they live with their mom and we get his kids every other weekend. My daughter was 16 and son was 12 when their dad died. It was hard trying to figure out what all to do or not to do. Thinking maybe it was ok to do A,B and C for them. And your right it's not all about money. My kids do their laundry, clean up around the house, mow the grass and have jobs. My daughter is now 22 and in her last yr of college. She lives out of the home, has 2 part time jobs and pays for everything except her cell phone and car insurance. My son just graduated from High School and has 2 part time jobs. We pay for his car insurance and cell phone. He pays for everything else he wants. My daughter is a great kid and is responsable. She really doesn't ask for much help. And my son lives here at home and he sees how we live and live pay check to pay check and he doesn't ask for much either. He also does his own laundry, make your bed every day,cleans his room etc. We never gave our kids allowance. Household jobs and etc. SHOULD be done. You live at home and you can help out. I am your mom not maid!

Lori - posted on 07/10/2009

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Quoting Melanie:

It's been great reading these post, I'm always up for ideas and suggestions when it comes to teenagers... my son is 16 and my daughter is almost 13, they are so very different as well and feel like there needs to be different responsibilities for both, but then they nag about it.... "I do all this and she doesn't".... "He has friends over all the time, I'm sick of his friends"... I'm raising these teens on my own, their father died almost two years ago... I often ask myself "How could you leave them knowing their teenage years were coming up!"... It's a huge learning curve and as much as I love structure and responsibility, I've also realized that you have to have flexibility... the small stuff isn't worth the fight, but making sure they have a consequence to putting off a chore and understanding the choice and decision making, I think are important lessons. The minute my 16yr. old started summer, I showed him how to fill out a job application, it can be the smallest, simplest job, but it still teaches them the process of working and getting paid. I've never done allowances, I say there are basic home responsibilites; ie, laundry, picking up after yourself, room & bathroom tidiness, dishwasher and then there are paying chores; organizing the garage or storage, cutting grass, cleaning/painting, office work, etc. Anyway, thanks for all the posts.


 

Lori - posted on 07/10/2009

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Boy didn't you just hit the nail right on top of the head!! We kinda have the same issue. But not that bad. Yes the kids do ask for stuff, but after talking to them that if they want something they need to either buy it themselves or help half way. We have 5 kids We are also a blending family. 3 have jobs so it isn't all that hard for them to buy it themselves. The other 2 are 15 and 10. They save their money from B-days, Christmas etc. So when they want something as well and they have the money they buy it. IF we can help we do. But now days like everyone else we are penny pinching like there is no tomorrow. It's kinda funny because when the kids ask for something and we say no, you buy the item then they change their mind.

You as a parent want to give your kids everything or maybe what you didn't have when you were young. I paid for my own car, gas, clothes etc as soon as I had job.

Kids need to learn the value of a dollar. If they don't have it then they don't get it! If they don't have a job and can work then tough luck.

Helen - posted on 07/10/2009

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Quoting Nicole:

Because they were spoiled brats as children! I can't stand teenagers today!



Wow how judgemental.  Lets see how you feel when your kids are teenagers.  Remember those screeming demanding toddlers you saw in the store? "mine won't be like that" you thought and before you knew it you took them out when they were cranky and passed the cookie isle and all hell broke loose.



 



My best friend is the best mom I know.  Boundaries, love, chores, caring, prayers, support extra curricular activities - you name it.    Her kid eneded up in a home for troubled teens.    



 



You sound like a spoilt Brat I can't stand judgemental mothers today!

Joyce - posted on 07/09/2009

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Quoting Sheila:

We also have taught them courtesy in that everyone picks up the slack when someone is sick or otherwise physically unable to do their part. Yes, they grumbled at times (and still do), but we have tried to help them be a responsible, contributing member of the family.


You have gotten it!!!  Family does NOT mean every man for himself.  It's suppsed to mean, every man for every man.  Each should learn that families consist of individuals who know the meaning of team work.  That's something that was kicked to the curb with the mistaken idea that life should be all about "ME".  Congratulations to you for teaching your family how to be part of "The Team".











 

Joyce - posted on 07/09/2009

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If your son can't find an outside job, poll your friends and neighbors. They may have things he can do to earn money. I live just outside ATL also and know how bad the job market is here. I don't think it would be a good precedent to set for you to pay him for doing chores. Not one soul on this earth lives for free. Our children and grandchildren have been sold a bill of goods regarding material possessions.

Joyce - posted on 07/09/2009

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They think that way because a lot of today's parents have taught them to. Wanting a child to have a better life does not mean giving them any and everything and not require them to do a thing to deserve it. Our world gives us nothing free. Granting a child everything with no requirements or responsibilities, only sets them up to fail in the real world .

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Oh yeah... I forgot to mention money. We've been working on helping him understand credit, savings, financing etc. He got a job last summer and blew every cent on junk "toys". He's almost 16 and talks about his car like it will magically appear on his birthday but it won't unless he's got the money for at least 75% of it and we've told him so amny times. So far this summer, he hasn't saved a cent either... but we don't give him handouts either. For example he wants an iPhone... he's got a run-of-the-mill phone that came with the service package that works (because he goes to school and works 30 min away from home and it's easier for us for him to have one). Back in January, he really really wanted a remote control car that he hadn't gotten for Christmas so we took it as an opportnity to teach him about credit and loaned him the money. He has had to pay us most of each of his paychecks to pay off the debt and it's killing him. He also went WAY over his allotted minutes on his cell phone and we warned him that if he did, he would have to pay. He's still paying that off too. It's been a great lesson! He keeps trying to get us to forgive the remainder of the debt but for his own good, we're sticking tough... and are therefore "uncool". Oh well. Some day it will pay off. For now... we just grin and bear it. :)

Melanie - posted on 07/09/2009

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It's been great reading these post, I'm always up for ideas and suggestions when it comes to teenagers... my son is 16 and my daughter is almost 13, they are so very different as well and feel like there needs to be different responsibilities for both, but then they nag about it.... "I do all this and she doesn't".... "He has friends over all the time, I'm sick of his friends"... I'm raising these teens on my own, their father died almost two years ago... I often ask myself "How could you leave them knowing their teenage years were coming up!"... It's a huge learning curve and as much as I love structure and responsibility, I've also realized that you have to have flexibility... the small stuff isn't worth the fight, but making sure they have a consequence to putting off a chore and understanding the choice and decision making, I think are important lessons. The minute my 16yr. old started summer, I showed him how to fill out a job application, it can be the smallest, simplest job, but it still teaches them the process of working and getting paid. I've never done allowances, I say there are basic home responsibilites; ie, laundry, picking up after yourself, room & bathroom tidiness, dishwasher and then there are paying chores; organizing the garage or storage, cutting grass, cleaning/painting, office work, etc. Anyway, thanks for all the posts.

Teresa - posted on 07/09/2009

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Kids learn what they live. If they see you giving back to your community, church, society, they will as well. There's nothing more rewarding than seeing your child enjoy doing things for others. If you lead your children by setting that example, they will not think that everything should be handed to them. They will think, what can I do to hand something to someone in need. The process starts at birth, they just don't wake up one day to be spoiled teenagers. I know some pretty spoiled 40 year olds as well.

Tina - posted on 07/09/2009

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Even if you make your kids do chores and teach them responsibility you will still be the strict or bad parent when they get to be teenagers because they go to school and see the kids that the parents give them everything the $300 phone, $200 ipod, $500 purse and so on. I made my daughter get a job and save and buy her own laptop and own flat screen tv, plus save a percentage of earnings and she still doesn't get it. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

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I'm a step-mom to a 15 year old boy and when we took full custody of him 2.5 years ago, we made it clear that regardless of how things were done in his mother's house, our house has rules, boundaries, and expectations. (His mother's house was a free-for-all with none of the above and he no longer even sees her.) My husband and I agreed on a fair set of expectations for chores - recycling, household trash, clean his bathroom, clean his room, do his own laundry, clean up after himself with dishes etc, and once or twice a week, empty the dishwasher. It took a really long time with a LOT of "It's not FAIR!" outbursts to get him to do most things on the list regularly without a fight.



The problem comes in with all of the other kids in the neighborhood (small neighborhood with~8 boys that J is friends with). They have little to no responsibilities in their homes so on Sunday morning or after school when J is doing his chores, they are sitting around and fanning the "It's not fair" flame because they don't have to do this stuff at their homes. When I hear that from them, I tell them that this is the way it is in our house. (I think they all think I'm a tough nut and I've been recently deemed "uncool" for confronting some of them about lying... :D) I can't count the number of times we've had the discussion with J that parents make different choices for their kids and we've chosen to help him develop into a well-rounded young adult who will know how to cook, clean, and take care of himself when he moves out.



One time he had a friend over and I made dinner. At the end of the meal, I asked the boys to clear the table. The friend said to me (in an innocent but completely ignorant way), "Are you enjoying sitting there and watching us do your work for you?" I was speechless and thankful when my husband put his hand on my shoulder and said, "I've got this, honey" and proceeded to educate the boy (then 14) about the division of labor in our house and how every home is different. This boy told my husband that his mom did EVERYthing... including picking out his clothes in the morning. WHAT???



Anyway... my husband and I were each raised by parents who expected us to pitch in with cutting wood, baling hay, farm chores, doing household chores etc and we're raising our boy to do the same. I wish every parent would do that... it will truly make their child's life easier in the long run!

Lori - posted on 07/09/2009

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I think most kids think this way and I do think is in part our fault & society. I don't think they understand the value of the $1.00 and what things actually cost and how hard we as parents work for those dollars to give our kids the very best. Debt cards don't help. We've been working on this at our house. Our kids always want to go out to eat. (we do this very little) However, last week, they got to pick anywhere they wanted to eat. But they only had $5.00 each to spend on supper. In order to eat they had to make choices and sacrifices. No soda with dinner :( It was an interesting experience and one we all learned from.

Liz - posted on 07/09/2009

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Having read most of these posts, I have to agree with just about all of them...it all boils down to responsiblity! Does your teenager expect things handed to them because that is the pattern that they have come to expect? Many of us are guilty of this and don't realize it until our kids are teenagers. My daughter will be 17 next month and I am definitely guilty of it with her...she is as lazy as the day is long b/c I ran around cleaning up after her when she was little, thinking that it was easier than making her do it and I do a better job anyway. Well, that is true for the moment, but if you look at the big picture, what a disservice you are doing for your child with that attitude! In short, always think of the big picture before you hand your teen ANYTHING - make them work for it, and tell them WHY! Let them know you are doing it b/c you love them and they will appreciate it and respect you more in the long run.

Laurie - posted on 07/09/2009

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You are an exception and that is good! I'm glad to see you respond! You are right there are some who don't get everything handed to them and you know what they(you) appriciate what you do get alot more. Bless you!

Sheila - posted on 07/09/2009

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Parenting is the most challenging yet rewarding thing I have done in my life. I have 6 children ranging in age from 8 years to 25, the oldest married. I was determined early on that my children would learn basic household chores. We developed a rotation of chores (from kitchen to bathrooms to vacuuming to various other chores we deemed necessary) and as each child was old enough to learn and do them they were added to the rotation and taught what was expected. My 8-year-old is in full swing. The rotation is changed weekly. We also have taught them courtesy in that everyone picks up the slack when someone is sick or otherwise physically unable to do their part. Yes, they grumbled at times (and still do), but we have tried to help them be a responsible, contributing member of the family. My older children are very adept at keeping house (my oldest keeps house better than his wife, which she even admits). They know how to do their own laundry and do it. Every household has to figure out what works best for them. I know families who just have everyone pitch in doing all the chores together each day. Again, the important thing is to teach it early and to stick with it no matter how much grumbling and griping they do. Our kids are allowed their privileges (we consider TV, video games, computer time, and hanging with friends all privileges) when they have done their part around the house. If they grumbling too much these are limited. As far as being handed everything, it is tough to say no when our kids ask for things. I would love to give them most of what they ask for but I know too that I am not teaching them the reality of life. That reality is we don't get everything we ask for. We also would let our children know they had so much money to get certain clothing or shoe items and if they wanted something more expensive they could contribute from their earnings. I truly believe we are each given discernment as parents as to how to parent in our particular circumstance. We can seek advice and then we have to sometimes through trial and error figure out what works for us. The last point I feel the need to make is that both parents need to support each other in these efforts to teach our kids to be contributing members of the family and to see a good example from us. We have to cheerfully do our part and we need to be the ones enforcing the assignments, not an older sibling. Oh, and by the way, my children are some of my best friends. They come home to "hang out" and still bring their friends over often even as adults.

Sharon - posted on 07/09/2009

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omg hell no iam not the only one in this world that is going through hell with my 3 teenage son's i have a sixteen yr old that has just left school and wont go out to look for a job or even go to college unless i go with him why should i lol my 15 yr old wants a job but isnt old enough and my 12 yr well he has learning problems and takes up most of my time up so hun we arent alone in all of this xxx

Cindy - posted on 07/09/2009

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I see a generation of parents who want to be "friends" forgetting that they are parents.
All children no matter what age needs boundaries and limitations. Responsibility can begin at an early age such as picking up toys before bed, help fold wash clothes, etc.
I feel that the "teenage" years are difficulty for everyone but parents need to guide not be part of the"gang". My kids didn't get everything they wanted. They had wish lists. When it came to Birthdays and Holidays maybe they would get something from the wish list.
There were time they had to have the name brand item, I'd give them what I would normally spend on ie: shoes and if they wanted the more expensive brand they had to make up the difference.
I feel that I was pretty successful they are both in college, work, have cars and are paying there way.

Lydia - posted on 07/09/2009

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Hahah - I think parents get sucked into the mentality that they want their kids to have all the things they didnt. I was lucky my parents wanted that for us but still managed to instill the value of earning what your get. I love the feeling of earning something and always have - although sometimes its nice to get spoilt a little too:) They simply set a budget for us (eg $100/year for clothing) and anything over and above that we had to find a way to earn the money. Hopefully I can manage to do just as good a job with this with my kids once theyre old enough to learn basic math!



Its also a socialised thing - each generation expects more for less. Alot of them havent had the benefit of living through a recession or depression (although I imagine a few will have felt the purse strings tighten recently) but certainly nothing like the rations and shortages that have been experienced by previous generations! (I guess mass production could have a role in it too). Bah - we all just do our best I guess!

Norjannah - posted on 07/09/2009

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yap..every mom would have the same problem....as my teenager''s girl i''ve handed her all her siblig''s to her to take care... weekend do the housework then i gave the reward but in 1 condition....look''s the job what she have done & not everything she want''s we have 2 give.....we as a parent's will spoilt them

Donna - posted on 07/08/2009

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Shawnee - the question wasn't "Why do ALL teenagers think that everything is handed to them?" We know not ALL teenagers expect a handout. That's not what is being talked about on here. I know my 16 year old stepson (who is now 22 and about to become a father in the next couple of days or weeks) didn't expect to have everything handed to him. He had to work in order to have clothes for school and when he dropped out and got fired from his job, he stayed home and babysat his baby sister (my now 6 year old) for free. With the money we saved from not having to pay outrageous daycare prices, we were able to afford clothes for him and ourselves and the newborn baby (mostly from Goodwill and St Vincent De Paul's and the like). He learned to scrimp and save and now as a father-to-be worries that he can't afford all the things he'd like to for his daughter. Most things have been handed to them, ok, so maybe 'handed' isn't the right word here, things have been bought for them only because they are on a very limited income. His wife quit her job when she got too big and it was uncomfortable for her to continue working. She'll eventually go back to work but not anytime soon.

Donna - posted on 07/08/2009

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Yeah Catherine! Finally a mother who sees the world the way I do when it comes to children and raising them not to be spoiled little brats who end up doing all the bad stuff you'd hoped they wouldn't do when you refused to teach them how it really should be when they were little and sweet and innocent and could learn things.

Catherine - posted on 07/08/2009

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Give them responsibilities. Chores. An allowance is something that should be earned--not given. I made all four of my children do chores around the house while they were growing up. I told them they would one day thank me for it.

A child does not suddenly become an adult one day and then develop a good work ethic. The work ethic has to be instilled in them when they are young.

Assign chores that are age appropriate. The chores should change as the child ages.

When my second son started a job a fast food restaurant when he was 15, he was amazed that many of the other kids working had never swept a floor before or washed a dish. Everyone of my children has thanked me and their father for teaching them the value of work.

Donna - posted on 07/08/2009

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Quoting Ann:

Because we hand it to them! T.V. doesn't help either - they learn a lot of bratty behavior there.


Sure, only if we allow them to watch tv talk shows like Jerry Springer and the like. My daughter gets nothing handed to her. She requests things like a sandwich and you know what? I have her come out into the kitchen with me while I watch her put peanut butter and jelly on her own bread. And, yes, she makes a bit of a mess, but guess what? After she has finished making her sandwich, I have her set it aside and clean up her mess. I get the sponge wet for her and have her clean up the crumbs and jelly and peanut butter and I may have to go behind her after she leaves, but at least my child knows she must learn to do these things herself, how else is she going to be a self-sufficient teen-ager, young adult and woman?

Ann - posted on 07/08/2009

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Because we hand it to them! T.V. doesn't help either - they learn a lot of bratty behavior there.

Donna - posted on 07/08/2009

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I agree with Leigh about parents allowing their children to sit around and not learn how to fend for themselves. Granted, my daughter is only 6 years old (7 in November) and she is expected to help me wash her clothes and put them into the dryer. We do this on the weekend so she can learn how its done. However, the water is not running when she puts her clothes into the washer. She insists on doing it and I stand by her to make sure she is safe. When the washer is finished we go to the laundry room and put her clothes in the dryer. She requests having a dryer sheet, I hand her a half a sheet and let her put it in. Then I reach into the washer, put her clothes on the dryer door and she picks them up and puts them in. I set the timer, she pushes the start button and off we go to dust and mop the kitchen, dining room, living room and hallway floors (as they are all tiled). After we finish with these rooms, we go into each of the bedrooms (there are three of them) and we make up the beds (in her room and mine) and the spare bedroom has her toys in it. These she picks up and puts back into the storage bins, if there are any on the floor that she may have forgotten to put away the night before and then we vacuum the carpeting. I am not a perfectionist, as long as things look picked up and decent I don't sweat there being marks in the carpet. Now, when my little girl grows up she will be able to keep her own house neat and tidy and looking wonderful no matter who might show up to drop by for a visit. I am teaching her to be responsible and self-sufficient in other areas as well. She's going to be a wonderful roommate or wife someday.

Leigh - posted on 07/08/2009

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It's our fault, as parents we do no favours to our children, by allowing them to do next to nothing around the home, because they then become teenagers & young adults & have no life skills to be able to look after themselves. On entering high school the principal gave all us parents a lecture & asked us to raise our hands on how many of our children knew how to use the washing machine, vacuming cleaner & were given regular chores around the house that they were required to do without any monetary payment, out of the 300 parents attending about 20 raised their hands. She then proceeded to tell us that when we were of the same age we had an actual work load that our children have yet to experience, how true for most. I remember vividly all the stuff I had to do around the house, when I speak to my mother she tells me it wasn't always completed without comment, but for the most part it was done, but these days with my own children they always find excuses to get out of their chores. My eldest son is now 18, is attending uni, has a partime job, & 'thinks he's an adult', wants all the priviledges of an adult, ie out drinking, gambling, partying, to take the car when he needs it, but balked when asked to contribute to board. He does pay board, $30.00 per week, & after handing the first payment over asked 'what he would receive for paying board'. A great big smile is what he gets, every time he puts his money into my hand lol. His friends are all suprised & have even said to him that they would not pay for staying at home & thinks that what he is paying is outrageous. Before working out how much board to charge I asked him how much money he spends on a good night out, which he thought would be around the $50.00 mark, so what I get I think is more than reasonable, considering that he eats his way through a small animal everytime he goes through the fridge. I don't do any of my childrens washing, they're all capable of doing this themselves & I could careless if their 'stuff' is dirty, it's not me wearing it. I think a few more parents need to toughen up & make their kids more selfserfishent, for the simple fact that your children leave your homes to set up their own, & more often or not expect 'someone else' to take care of them & their enviroment. I want my boys to be independant & to have the life skills required to live a full life. Keep going Marible. Not sure if it's the same in the US, but when my other son was looking for a job, my husband sat & asked him 'what he wanted to do', he loves spray painting & graphic art, so my husband took him to the supply shop & volunteered his services to the manager, he did 'work experience' there for a month, just partime before he was offered a paid position, which he loves. Do your sons resume, sit & do mock interviews with him, use your family & friends to network the fact that your son wants a job. Good luck!!

Maribel - posted on 07/08/2009

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I started to work when I was 14 years old. I knew I was very independent when I bought my own clothes, shoes, boots, sandals, and sneakers. Now a days it is very difficult for my son to get a job. I want him to get a job so bad I could taste it............ I want him to know the value of money. I live in the Atlanta area. If you have any suggestions please write back. thank you Ms. Desperate :)

Leonia - posted on 07/08/2009

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no you are definately not the only one going throught this!!!! I have to sya my daughter is 13 and there has been times when she thinks i should just hand her everything she wants amd especially when her best friend gets everything that she wants from her parents without having to earn it, so, this is what I did... I took her cell phone away and told her that when she could pay for half the bill then she could have it back, as far as cloths went i gave her so much money for summer cloths and gave her the option of going to a second hand store or looking for clearance in stores, but reguardless of what she picked that was all the money she got, of course i supplied her with undies and socks and bras but all the other name brand stuff she wanted she had to decide if it was woth having less cloths. She has gotten much better since I have started making her more aware of finances and even though i don't let her knw exactly what mine are i do let her know around about how much a month my bills are and to a kid they seem like alot and it makes her step back and think and at times i feel bad when all her friends have a cell phone and she don't but come on we didnt have them when we were kids so i think that she will live!

Maribel - posted on 07/08/2009

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I actually thought that I was the only one going through with this crap.....lolololololol

Anita - posted on 07/07/2009

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OMG...because they are spoiled brats indeed. I have to admit I did spoil my daughter. I didn't give her a lot of chores around the house. Now she lives in a fantasy world, but one day she will wake up. All she wants to do is spend y money. Now she got a job and realizes money don't grow on trees. She is off to college in September and she will be paying for her own books.

Nicole - posted on 07/07/2009

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Because they were spoiled brats as children! I can't stand teenagers today!

Christopher - posted on 07/07/2009

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I think that maybe it's because they don't understand responsibility. When I was a teenager (just a short while ago) I was in charge of which one of my 4 siblings was to do laundry and get them to actually do it. Or even the dishes or any other chore for that matter but because I was just an older sister they didn't listen to me, and my mom was no help. She would just tell me to do it. I also babysat my siblings alot. I couldn't wait to leave my mothers house just because I was tired of doing everything I felt she was supposed to. So as soon as I graduated I was out the door and got a job. On the other hand my four siblings have no sense of responsibility. They walk all over my mom. They never do chores. And the are all older now. I have a sister who is 18, pregnant and still living in my mothers house. So my conclusion is that when the child is younger they should be introduced to some types of responsibility. Such as house chores, after school jobs, help grocery shopping, and also watchig the mom or dad budgeting. They will learn responsibility, and moey skills. That way they can understand that the things they get come from what you earn.

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