What should teenagers contribute finacially?

Lorie - posted on 01/09/2010 ( 53 moms have responded )

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I have a 16 yr old daughter who just got her drivers license. When I added her to my car insurance it went from $400 to $1200. My daughter does not help out around the house, she has a job but works one night a week (we recently found out that her "cut in hours" is not due to the employer as she has been telling us, but because she told them she "can't work"), she lays around the house regularly unless she is with her boyfriend (which isn't often because he works!), her grades are just barely passing, all around she is just very lazy. We live in the country and have been relying on friends to take care of the kids after school till we are home from work. So when she got her license we decided to provide her a car with the understanding that she is to get herself & her brother to & from school. There was also the agreement she would look for a better job now that she will have transportation. We are asking that she contribute $25 a week toward her car insurance and pay for her gas. I don't believe this to be unfair since we are providing the vehicle but she is of course very angry because she will actually have to work regularly. What are your thoughts & expectations of your teenagers financially?

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[deleted account]

See this is just like the cell phone thing- a sense of entitlement on the part of many of our young people occurs because we allow it to occur by giving them so much without requiring them to contribute. It isn't your job to provide convenience for your daughter. It is your job to teach her life skills and moral values- one of which is you have to earn your way in life. So just like a "pay as you go" cell phone card, take the keys away if she is not making choices that support your "adult in training" program for her.



Time to have a sit down talk with written rules and consequences (just like an employer might do in a workplace manual). Be calm no matter what she says, have a matter of fact tone of voice and simply remind her that most things you give her are privledges not owed to her. Tell her if she is unhappy about paying the $25 a month insurance, she is welcome to go to any insurnace company online or by phone and ask for a rate for herself without parent sponsorship and then pay for it.



If she is laying the house it is because you have not given her enough chores to do and the consequences of not doing them (no car- no TV, no cell). Again, quiet, pleasant tone- welcome to the adult world!



If she is doing poorly in school it is because you are allowing her not to turn in her homework and you are not in contact with her teachers once a month. Here was our family homework rule-



None of our children have the right to make us be bad parents. The school considers us bad parents if we do not monitor three areas in our child's school life- one, attendance, two- respect for teachers, three- homework and classroom effort. Therefore each child will turn in EVERY piece of homework with a good effort. It is up to the child to earn the grade for the homework- turn it in on time- max grade, late-lower or no grade, not at all- no grade. So tell your kids if they don't turn it in on time, that is up to them but OUT OF RESPECT FOR YOU AS PARENT, AND THE TEACHER- IT WILL BE TURNED IN. Then 10 days before vacation breaks, get the guidance counselor to help you get a list of ALL incomplete homework. Two days before vacation- meet your child unexpectantly with the counselor and go to the locker and be sure they have every book and resource needed to do the assigments (now in your hand). If your child has 12 undone assigments and they have 5 day break then there will be 2.5 assignments turned in to you every night for you to check (and send them back if they are crappy). Then the following week have the counselor verify that all assignments were turned in. Again, you don't care what credit or not a teacher gives for it. You did your job- homework in! Our foster son turned in a dozen late the first vacation, 6 the next and zero for the following years! His grades went up (doing homework actually has you learn something!) and he graduated HS. You have to check up and follow up!!



Now Lorie- You want to be her Mom and have a gentle loving relationship with her. But that WILL NEVER HAPPEN if she doesn't at least respect you. So when it come to rules and preapreing her for the adult world, start acting like her employer- don't take things personally and remember she who yells first, loses the argument. If your daughter starts to talk to you disrespectfullly, quietly put up your stop sign hand, and say "this is a warning that this talk is going to be over unless you speak to me respectfully." If she doesn't change it- simply say "this talk is over for now" and walk way. DO NOT ENGAGE NO MATTER WHAT SHE SAYS OR DOES! She will learn that to get what she needs (your permission, your keys, your money, your help) the conversation has to go on. She will learn to have it go on, she has to control her talk.



I suggest you also check out Dr Phil's book on family and use some of his techniques. A combination of loving techniques and a bit of tough love will give you the balance she and you both need.



Check in with me in the community "We survived Our Teens" (click on communities) and let me know how things work out (and get more real advice from people who have raised and survived troubled teens). Good luck! Jude



Mom, tell me how you liked my advice by clicking a word below!

Jennifer - posted on 01/29/2010

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We have 3 teenagers - 16, 15, and 14. The older two have their licenses and permit. We provided them both with a car. Along with their regular chores, they are expected to pay for their insurance and gas as well. No insurance or gas, no car and the car sits!!

And in regards to boyfriends. Once a week and one date night on the weekend. We feel it is important for our kids to remain in contact with their friends as well and by limiting the boyfriend/girlfriend time, it makes them reach out to their friends as well.

Good Luck.

Dee - posted on 07/10/2011

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Fair, very fair!! Then again I had to buy my own cars as a teenager and pay to fix them myself and my own insurance. I started working at 14 and I worked 3 part time jobs at 17,18, 19. Of course I believe in tough love and am sitting here with tears as I just made my baby (19) who is home for the summer (from college), move out due to him saying "FU" to me in a text. He has never cursed at me ever, and his GF curses all the time at her parents. I don't put up with that crap. He and I were closer than I would have ever dreamed we would of been. I am talking best friend close. But always kept parent child relationship and have always been very strict and firm. I am needless to say devastated. I've cried for 2 1/2 days and have a head ache I think from dehydration from all the tears I have cried out. I have to stick to my guns I will not allow him to talk disrespectful to me, EVER and live in my house. Tell your daughter some Moms had to buy their cars, pay their insurance and gas and contribute $50 a week to electri, water, mortgage, and food. She shoudl take the $25 offer and thank her lucky stars. Plus you probably coudl rent her room for $500 a month if she was not livign at home. I am not suggesting you do htis but it does make them see things clearer. My son works wiht his Dad some int he summer building decks and construction. I had him pay hte electric bill last month to get a grasp on what living on the out side is like. It was $260. Makes him think about whether to leave the lights on or off. TV on or off. Growing up is just that...growing up. Don't allow her to be lazy. That is a luxury..in this economy none of us can afford. Maybe a lazy day here or there but not 7 days a week. Good luck.

Robin - posted on 01/15/2010

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Well here is how it works in our family. We have 4 children, 3 of whom are teenagers. As you know they all have different personalities so they all respond to things differently; however, there are some things that we have made non-negotiable. When the kids, depending on maturity, reached 10 -12 years old we started giving them an allowance of $10 per wk. With that allowance they were responsible for buying their own clothes, tithing, and saving 10%. The next step was $15 allowance out of which they added buying gifts for Christmas and birthdays. When they got their first job they started doing these things out of their salaries and received no more allowance. When the time came to drive they also became responsible for their own insurance. We paid for gas while they were driving the family vehicles. The older 2 have now purchased older cars that their dad has helped them fix up, they are responsible to buy the parts, dad teaches the boy how to put them on, the girl he does the work for. Our children also pay for their own attendance to camp and other extras after they have jobs. Those jobs can be as simple as babysitting before they are 16, or yard work for neighbors and friends.
Our oldest is 19 now and has added the responsibilities of paying for her own cell phone bill, before that she had use of the "community" cell phone, one that all the kids used when one of them was driving or out and about. She also pays for all her own toiletries and any extras that she wants. At the same time, she is attending college and working. She realizes that if she wants something she has to provide the money for it herself. She has even taken a trip to Europe for 3 weeks with money that she earned and raised doing fundraisers. She is by nature a lazy child but her desire to have new clothes and so on motivates her to work. Our 17 year old son also works and pays for everything that he wants beyond what a parent would provide as necessities of life, i.e. food and housing.
If our children complete their college career and still want to live at home they will then be required to pay some room and board but as long as they are paying for college and the other expenses of life we feel that our part is giving them free room and board. As our children realize that paying for college is their responsibility they are making decisions for college that are economical sound as well. Such as starting at a 2 year college while living at home and then transferring to a 4 year college nearby and commuting to classes. While this may keep them from all the party life (not a bad thing as far as I'm concerned) it will also keep them from being up to their eyeballs in debt when they leave college.
Good luck, parenting is never easy and as we have discovered the teenage years and the transition to adulthood can be the most difficult time of all. You will survive and you will eventually be thankful for these years and all your children have learned.

[deleted account]

Hi, I know how you feel. Many times kids of really good parents still act out and it leaves the parents with the "why, why, why?!!" feeling. It sounds like you are no pushover and that's a good thing. Have you tried counseling to find out if there is a chemical imbalance such as depression? Regarding what do to when things don't work- that is the thing that I think all parents have to focus on. The fact that you have to keep trying things. Somethings work for a while and then don't. Somethings don't work at all and have to be changed. Somethings work and then new things pop up. Really it is about getting to the route of things. I really like that show that is on today "World's Strictest Parents." I would suggest all parents of teens watch that show a few times. The only thing else I can suggest right now, having read more of the facts, is to sit down and try to "contract" with her. What does she want? Unfortunately, too often, I hear the teen answer- "to be left alone to do as little as possible and to get as much as possible." Well how did we create a generation of kids like this? More importantly, how are we going to change it?

It is hard I think growing up in a more rural area- I did my teen years in a town of 1000, ranch community in Wyoming! We got into so much trouble cause there just wasn't much to do? Does your teen have any interests or any goals? How can you lure her from her lazy days to a more productive day? It may be a bartering thing now! How can you help her find a job in any way related to any of her interests? Maybe some kind of paid intern or apprenticeship so that when she graduates she can then become a full time member of that company?

Now there is a secret weapon for discipline with teens these days. It is silence and sitting. You see kids today are so tied into instant everything that quiet, boredom, and the inability to watch something, chat on something, text someone, listen to something, is a nightmare for them. So when you have trouble with your teen- instead of grounding them (where they stay home and play with all that stuff), simply table them. One hour at a table with no TV, computer, cell, music, anything, not even an emory board. Sit there, be quiet, do nothing! Be sure you are in the room, (with your book) and do not engage. They will get bored quick and try to start a fight (just say, "we can talk about that after your hour" and refuse further speech). Next time you have a problem do it again, and then the next time, bump it up by 15 minutes. This might be inconvenient for you, but you can get some homework or reading done for yourself! (PS, no laying on the table- sit on the chair). You will be amazed what a deterent this is after just a few times.

If you have a teen who tries a simple no to the table consequence ("make me!") then start making her- start taking away stuff like the cell, the tv in her room, the keyboard, the key to her room, permission to go to the movie on sat with boyfriend, WHATEVER! The most important thing is not to have a powerful voice or hard ass look! "I am sorry you chose that consequence, I hope you will choose better next time."

You may get to a stage where she is just depressed cause she has lost so much and your rules are too much and she doesn't care anymore and has sunk into inactivity. Now you have to start building up a relationship of doing positive things, fun things, with her and your son and others. Start the rewards and gently stay the course on the other things.

The last thing I want to suggest isn't for her- it is for you. I may be making assumptions again but I feel your stress level and overall tiredness coming through the internet lines! I am going to suggest that you try to find a tai chi class to visit once a week before you come home (she can do dinner and help the younger ones with homework that night). Tai chi is a wonderful moving meditation and helped me so much with my trying times (and your daughter is almost a saint compared to mine!) You have to try to take care of yourself- you are on the front line of a battle and you have to be well in mind and body to win! Take care of yourself and please join our community at "We Survived Our Teens." You may also be able to help other parents. Jude

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Teresa - posted on 07/11/2011

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I think your proposition sounds fair. If she can't abide by it, then she shouldn't be driving. It is a good place to start learning that nothing is free.

FRANCES - posted on 01/29/2010

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I also have a 16 yr.old teenage son that WANTS a car. With the way things are going I have done nothing but be honest with him in telling him that I cannot promise him anything. My last job was an elimination in position, and am paying bills from my unemployment checks. A year ago, he decided he would work fast food so that he could maintain his cell phone bill. I have to say, he has done well in taking care of that cost. But my intentions are for him not to have a car until his Senior year. Dad probably sees things different. At any rate, I believe that he also has to come up with some type of monies towards this "Car". He does like to work, so I'm pretty sure he will maintain that part.

But as you say, the next part is the INSURANCE! I know that this is a main concern. Broken down monthly:

Phone: $80

Car Payment: $300 or more, plus Gas $120 monthly

Insurance Payment: $400 or more

Grand Total: $800 -$1000 Monthly (at the minimum)



I don't see how $100 a month will even make an impact. Sometimes if we let our children see this in writing before they make a comittment, this might make a difference. I still don't know all the answers.

De'An - posted on 01/27/2010

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So far my 17 yr old daughter does not have a job. This is because she has been helping me with her 88 yr old grandfather after school. She drives our old van and she makes good grades in school. She is a Jr this yr and she is taking some pretty hard subjects this yr. But recently we have asked her to get a job b/c it is starting to get hard to pay for her gas every week and insurance. I think getting a job will help her become more responsable and grow up more. She is a great girl and we are very proud of her.

Alicia - posted on 01/27/2010

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WOW!im at a loss 4 words! well i have 3 teens.1 is about to turn 20..responsible,worked since 10th grade!2.is 18 but still in school,hes smart,he knows money is tight so he doesnt ask unless it ias absoloutly mandatory...he even wants to skip prom bcause of finances...i told him no,ur going!3shes 16 and of coures thinks that money grows on trees...Pretty much what im sayn is i pay the bills and they take care of their WANTS!good luck 2 u!

Erika - posted on 01/27/2010

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WOOOWWW!!!!....Kids today have lost their minds...I don't remember acting so selfishly as a teen but I probably shouldn't ask my dad...lol...Anyway...I was raised in the military and tend to be a VERY STRICT parent so take this for what its worth...My son will be 16 in Feb. so due to the fact he plays every sport out there he does have a cell phone which he pays himself.He does odd jobs for family at a fair price (none of this $50 for raking the yard crap).With that he is asked to pay for the things he wants.I have found that if he pays for it then he respects it.He hasn't gone over his minutes since he started paying his own bill(funny right??..lol)..As for a car..We bought him a 1991 Grand Marquis(a hoopty..lol)...He must pay for his own gas and run whatever errand I want him to.He will maintain his 3.8 grade point average and complete at least one internship a year in his preferred field (law)...If he does all this he will get a new car for college...If not ..He has 60 days to vacate my house after he graduates from high school.....and lazy around the house isn't allowed ....You use it ..you clean it..Rooms need to be clean and clothes put up....I have been know to take trash bags and clean up his room from time to time when he hasn't done it himself...Which means everything out of place goes in the trash and I will not replace it.It has only happened a couple times until he found out how much things cost...lol..

Anna - posted on 01/26/2010

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Wow! What a great compromise! In our home, our daughter will be required to work and save no less than 3 months of car payment and insurance before we get a car. Of course we'll be more flexible during the school year because school comes first; but we fully expect our children to work in the summer to cover expenses while they're in school. No money for a car = no car. I know its easier for you if she has a car and works; but if she's not helping out and isn't pulling her weight, then I think the car should not be available to her.

Tina - posted on 01/26/2010

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Thank you..He is learning...Soon he will be out of school and 18, I am trying my best to prepare him for the future....:)

Jennifer - posted on 01/25/2010

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When my son got his drivers license, he got a job a month later. He was then given our older car and I gave him a free fill up. I told him that he would be responsible for the rest of his gas. I also told him he had to pay 20 bucks every two weeks toward insurance. This has worked out very well. He has never asked for a dime and even though he only works two days a week he still saves money too. I wish more parents would do what we are doing because it makes them appreciate what they have and prepare them when they get out and have to pay their own bills. Also my son does dishes twice a week. So I think you are doing the right thing.

Shawn - posted on 01/25/2010

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I have a teenager whom I purchased a car for this summer. Our agreement was that she would help out with her sister getting to and from school as well. She is currently working so I made her pay half for the car of in installments. I don't think you're being unfair at all. In fact I think you're being a little too lenient. We have to teach our children some sense of responsibility or they will not be able to survive out here in the real world.

Kristal - posted on 01/22/2010

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I think thats MOREthan fairIf your daughter want wheels then she needs to contribute.. Plus your teaching her how the real world works! Thats our job as parents ~ to prepare our children for life.. REAL life! Not this Lazy, self centered, video game, interenet fantasy world the teenagers live in today.. Your trying to teach her responsibility.. And that is being a good MOM.. =)

Shannon - posted on 01/22/2010

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A kid old enough to drive should pay for their own insurance, part of the maintenance on the vehicle if they share your vehicle, all if it is their own, and pay for their own gas. Nothing like a situation like this to teach a kid about real life, real bills, and real responsibilities.

Tina - posted on 01/19/2010

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Lorie, I understand about the night and day difference, My daughter is my angel and does everything she is suppose to,and always has and is very responsible, but my son on the other hand, well he beats to his own drum and I worry about him so much...I have tried to sit down with him and talk about about the future, his education, ressponsibility, all he will say is I am a teenager and I am having fun, One day I will get it together...This scares me...He is type 1 diabetic and after he turns 19 he will no longer he on our insurance and he does not plan on going to college..If I can not get him to keep a job and pay for his car ins, how can I get him to pay for his health ins? I wish you the best with your daughter, I am here if you need to talk...Tina

Tammy - posted on 01/19/2010

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It is not unfair! We give these kids everything. And we have to teach them alot like responsibility. When my oldest son got his liscense, he had to pay for the temp packet, drivers ed, the liscense, and the difference he made on my insurance. We did provide him with the vehicle. Your daughter needs to understand that driving may be cool and fun, but it is truly a privlage. If she doesn't make enough for gas then she doesn't need to drive. And why do they alwaya think that if they have a liscense they get out of all other responsibility. My son had to keep a job, keep his laundry done, and his room clean. He did help us with our other children at times so we would give a few dollars for gas if he did. I have a boy and a girl who are both getting ready to drive. These rules apply to them too. You want this privlage, accept the responsibility. Or dont drive. And if shes going to lie and be lazy, shes NOT going to be aloud to drive.

Lori - posted on 01/19/2010

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I have a 20 year old and a 23 year old who are both going to college, but still live at home. They both have a good summer job, but are not motivated to get a part time job while they are in school. They each have their own car, and I make them use the money they make in the summer, to pay for their own insurance. When they were teenagers they didn't have their own vehicle so I didn't make them pay. I get very frustrated with their lack of interest in trying to find a part time job, so I know where you're coming from

Amanda - posted on 01/16/2010

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I would say you are defiantly on the right track. She should pay for some of her ins. What you are asking her to pay is not at all too much. I would also suggest some pumishment for not meeting expectations though.



I would set down with her and let her know as a young adult these are your expectations. Examples below..



-No D's or F's on her report card

-Pay $25 a month for ins.

-Wash her own clothes

-Keep her room clean

-Transport siblings when needed

-Everynight that she does not work - She is repsonsible for cleaning dishes after dinner and putting them away ( You will probably see her hours increase )

-I would have a family time 1hr a night that she is expected to be a part of. ( it could just be watching a family show on tv )



I would give her expectations and then tell her the consequesces for not meeting expecations

Example :

no phone ( This should be a must ) This will change everything.

no driving

Rose - posted on 01/16/2010

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well,honey.since im frm spore,my 16yo girl still cant get a driver's licence yet.lol.that aside,she hates going to sch and stared working pt time.my son,who is a yr older is doing pt time too while waiting to pursue his studies.I make sure both of them contribute to the household after they set aside money for their own expenses first.in other words,teach them how to draw a budget so they cn afford to spend and contribute at the same time.you knw hw kids are these days..they want things their way but we must make them realise that in life,there's no easy way out.tell her,if she doesn't want to earn and help herself,then no one will,nt even you.its time to wake up and start being responsible,girl!!

Karie - posted on 01/15/2010

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personally i agree when it comes to driven the car pay for gas or dont drive.....MY biggest rule in our house for finacially contribution is as long as ur in school u pay nuthin except like gas for the car when u drive it and ur own little extras that u want not need....but once drop outta school get ur butt up everyday pound the pavement and get a job and pay rent food and eveything else.......mite not be the same for neone else but it does work for us

Elena - posted on 01/15/2010

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My son is now 18 and will be graduating in May. I also provided him a car at 16 and required him to work to pay for his gas and ALL of his car insurance. If he did not have money for gas or insurance, he did not drive the car. Let's just say that only happened once. He learned to budget his money and manage his own checking account. When my son does any errands for me, like take his brother to practice or go by the store, I do give him gas money. Good luck with your daughter. It is not fun to live through the teenage years.

Angel - posted on 01/15/2010

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we have a 14 yr old boy...he already knows b4 he can get his license he has to have $500.00 in the bank 2 cover the deductible on the ins. He also knows that he will have to work 2 afford the ins. on the vehicle and the gas. He has from an early age been raised to earn money...IE helping Grandma..allowance...chores and has had grass cutting jobs every summer in order to play football. If anything I think u r being to easy on ur daughter the higher the expectations u have of her the more effort she will put forth or take away something of value to her. It took along time for us to figure out his currency but when u do they will do just about anything to be able to have that privledge (4give the spelling) computer..playstation and of course football. Good luck it's tough when u both work and 4 her grades tell her the car will have 2 go because ins. offer a good student discount I suggest maybe u find out what that difference would be and make her responsible 4 it she can either do that by making the grades or working more...hummm sounds like a plan..Hope this helps. My boy already knows about the good student discount, I am a former ins. agent

Lorie - posted on 01/14/2010

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Wow so much great advice! Thanks for all of it everyone, it really has helped. I'm hoping for much easier times with my son who is now 11. He's just a different kind of person; caring, helpful, kind, thoughtful. My daughter has never exhibited those attributes, I'm sad to say. It's amazing to have two children that are as different as night & day, live in the same house, same rules, same parent but are so completely opposite! I can only pray that life teaches her all the things she has refused to learn from me. It will be painful for her but she has made these choices.

Thanks again for taking the time to respond!

Tina - posted on 01/14/2010

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When our son turned 16 and we got him a car, he had to pay for his insurance and gas..he totaled his car and we decided not to get him another one until he was older and maybe more responsible...Well his older brother made an agreement with him that he would get him another car and he could pay him back.Which was all and good, but he lost his job shotly after.It has been one thing after another with him getting another job...He is a lazy one to....His Ins sky rocketed after the wreak, but it would cost way to much to let it laspe, so guess who has been paying for it? I do not think it is to much to ask for your daughter to pay for ins and gas, unless she wants to ride the bus. My son has been out looking daily (hopefully soon he will find another one) Teenagers wow I could have skipped these years..LOL We as parents have to teach them responsibilites and pray that they make good choices...I also battle with him to do chores around the house...I told my son that when he turns 18 that if he keeps on going the way he is now, that he would need to find a place of his own...well that will be in about 8 months...We will see.. I know that it is very frustrating, it is a battle I face on a daily basis..

Jennifer - posted on 01/14/2010

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WOW!I really love the advice from Jude...I would listen to her..She sounds like she knows what she's talking about. I'm going to follow some of those ideas myself....I think I'm going to check out We Survived Our Teens as well......

Cathie - posted on 01/14/2010

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teenagers should pay their way, I made all my kids pay board from the time they got jobs, my youngest is in yr 12 and I keep all her youth allowance give her money when she needs it, my next youngest lives at home with her son I make her pay half the rent fair is fair they have to learn responsibilty

Rosaland - posted on 01/13/2010

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My daughter's had her car since she was 17 but now she's 19. I've always paid her insurance on the car. I told her that she was to pay me 100 dollars per month towards her car insurance when she became 18, and she's given me that 100 dollars maybe 3 times. She has a parttime job (afterschool care) and she goes to school full time. I don't ask her to help me pay any of the bills in the house so she should at least pay the 100 on the car insurance. She pays for her own tune-ups, gas, cell phone, (victoria secret card which she doesn't need) and loves shopping. I blame this all on myself and should've been put my foot down. I just advised her that as of this year, she would have to give me the 100.00 per month towards her car insurance and I'm gonna stick to that. Good luck Mom with your teen! It's our job to teach them responsibility.

[deleted account]

my 13-year old is looking forward to starting a job this year, other than grass cutting. he will need money because he will have to give 10% to either church or charity, set a budget and then save for his own car, pay his own insurance (or his share of our insurance) AND all the gas. I also expect that he will have to start helping out with buying his own tickets to sports games, etc. at some point. if he has no money, he won't be able to drive. I wouldn't ask her for the money, tell her that is the expectation and if she can't pay, she doesn't drive. of course, you will have to back that up by beign prepared to go back to the way it was - and she has to go back to being a "baby" and not having a car. good luck and stick to your guns! She thinks she's doing YOU a favor - by ferrying her brother back &forth to "help you out."

Shataqua - posted on 01/13/2010

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Its just the way these kids are these days! My daughter just turned 16 and she wants a car(not gonna happen) I really dont believe anything she says and I definately wouldnt trust to to have her own vehicle. Shes not mature enough!

Catherine - posted on 01/13/2010

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Hi Lourie, I too have a 16 yr old and my plan is for her to have a part time/casual job after school etc we too gave her a car but it is her responsibility now :) she wont pay board but if she wants the extras( eg extra on phone latest perfume etc) she will get for herself otherwise we will continue to enable them and its a good way to say "we are forever here for you hun but its time now for some more responsibility"..also lorie boyfriends are a tricky one as my daughter also has one as the girls hang off their every word..with the lazy part a little bribary dosent hurt as you guys are both working parents rewarding for care around the house etc will speak volumes..grades shape up or less phone time etc..i know this sounds awful as we mums forever finding new ways to ensure their happiness but we all have to live together and we all do things to help eachother to ensure harmony..i think your suggestions are gr8...she will get ova being angry once she and you guys have a firm plan and stick to it..cause kids rely on routine :) hope this has helped

Michelle - posted on 01/12/2010

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Hi Lorie. As a mother of 3 teens myself, I feel your pain. This is what we did in my house. Kids want cars, ok. We got lucky and family donated cars for us. The kids want to drive said car, ok. Kids pay for all insurance (meaning like you said your insurance jumped, so kids would have to pay for the difference), they would have to pay for their own gas and all maintnance for said car. This would mean they would have to work and not call off and be lazy. My oldest daughter is great at this. She wanted to purchase another car I had and so she pays me monthly just like she would if she went to like Carmax or wherever. She pays for the car, her own insurance on her own policy now (she is now 20) and also pays rent and pays for her portion of the cell phone bill. She has been doing this since she was 17. I was treated the same way growing up. Taught me the value of a dollar and the pride in doing things on my own. By the way, she hasn't been paying rent since she was 17, just since she decided not to return to college. I said college or pay rent, and she chose rent. Can't win 'em all I guess.

Shelly - posted on 01/12/2010

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Lorie,

I feel like you are being more than fair with her...We do not provide our boys with cars. We will help them out on buying one but we have never bought one for them. They are responsible for thier own insurance and thier own gas and if I ask them to do errands for us I give them gas money. Driving in our house is still a privaliage (sp) not a right so if you want to drive you will work and pay for that privilage (sp). We have never given our boys what they want just what they need and a car is not a need....

Jodie - posted on 01/12/2010

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My husband and I have two teenage daughters. When it comes to driving a car at 16 that is a luxury and if you can't afford the insurance and she doesn't help with anything than take the car away. Teach her responsibility!

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I am starting my 3rd teen driver and this has worked perfectly! They want to drive, and the same for cell phones, then get a job!!! There is no driving or cell until they can pay for it. Insurance is 120.00 a month and the cell is 40.00 a month. Both bills are due on the 15th and if is is not paid in full the phone and car are gone until the following month. no one has missed a payment yet.These things are privledges not a right. I think my teens are the only ones at their school with no cell phone. It is also being part of a faimly the demands the new drivers help with transportation needs of others. After all didn't we transport them everywhere.

Michelle - posted on 01/11/2010

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When my 16 year old refused to be involved in a sport or school activity I told him then he would get a part time job. Too much free time for a teenager is a bad mix! He pays for his own cell phone and contributes to the car insurance bill as well as helps out around the house and must maintain his grades of at least 80 GPA. If the grades go down no cell phone (don't care he paid for it), no driving, no friends till they are back up

Mari - posted on 01/11/2010

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so, I've read some of the other posts now, and it looks like I did repeat some stuff oh well, but I wanted to address one more thing: I was in the position that I needed my 17 yr old to drive her and the youngest to and from school, herself to practice and to work. I simply couldn't. She went through a significant "rude with entitlement" phase about 2 months after her 17th birthday. I had to take away everything, no joke, she didn't have a lightbulb in her closet everything! I really had a struggle with the car thing and it finally came down to, she could use the car to drive to and from school, work, and practice, that's it. She could not have any friends in the car, she could not take the long route anywhere, and if she didn't follow the rules she wasn't allowed to work or be on the dance team anymore. Not one or the other either, it was both, no work no team. Once it came to the point of having to take away lightbulbs, then she was in it for a month. I just had to be calm and rational with my basic phrases being, it's ok that you hate me right now, I'm ok with you thinking that of me, I'm fine with being the bad guy in this. No "as long as" because that gave her a goal....as long as I learn to... then I won't learn it. I'm a good mom and I have good kids, but they forget sometimes that they have to keep growing up. Again, hope that helps :)

Mari - posted on 01/11/2010

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You have a lot of responses already, and I haven't read through them all... so hopefully I am not repeating too much.

I have 3 teenagers, 19, 17, and 14.

The 19 yr old is living at home again after having been on his own for 6 months. He doesn't want to work, he doesn't want to go to school, and it is a chore to get him to help around the house.

The 17 yr old is in all AP classes at her high school, has been taking two classes at the local community college every term since the summer of 10th grade, is on a competitive dance team that meets after school and works 3 nights a week, she’s still on the reminder list for chores around the house.

The 14 yr old goes to school with good grades, plays 3 instruments, he's on the reminder list for getting chores done but does them willingly once reminded, and has a generally good attitude about everything.

They are all three raised by me, in the same kinda home, with the same rules. Kids are their own people; all you can do is try to raise them to be good adults.

That said, once they're teenagers its time to help them understand that they're about to be on their own and this is the time for them to try it all out while they still have you as a support system.

This is only my version of how I did this. You ultimately have to make your choices as to how you help them become adults.

The first thing I did was explain that my role as parent/ provider was to make sure they had the basics of food, shelter, and clothing. This means a strong, supported, cardboard shack, ramen, water, and oatmeal, and hand-me-down's or if I felt like splurging, Goodwill. That's it. They have the ability to go look at the plenitude of homeless or welfare parents that provided barely that much and sometimes not that much, and still had custody of their children. They weren't in jail, and child services were well aware of their existence and circumstances.
Anything I provided them, above that level of provision, was extra ‘cause I liked them. They are NOT entitled to jack.

Keeping the house clean is a non-optional family obligation, it is not paid work. Every job out there has a side work list. Chores are their side work. Their job is school, to get an education. The better they are at that now, the better the rewards they earn later when they are promoted either to college or the workforce.

The next thing I told them was that my job as a mother, was to make sure they were prepared for the world. I gave them 2 options for money to begin with.
One: I split the household income that provided for the necessities, (this covers you if your income easily provides for everything + some) then split that by how many people are in the house. Then, I allotted them their portion. That big number looked really good at first. With it though, they had to pay their portion of rent, utilities, buy their own food and toiletries, gas, whatever. I had them create a budget, showed them the bills, had them do a basic shopping trip with my receipts, etc. Once they sat down with all that and worked it out, they realized that after paying their portion, there wasn't anything left. And they still had to do chores.

The other option was to get a job. That was a good way to learn to be an adult and didn't require them to pay household bills, only their own bills; ie their gas, their insurance, their extras. How many extras they got was dependent on how much and well they worked. They still had to do chores but I whittled it down depending on their job.
The 17 yr old is now only in charge of her room, (Her bed has to be made every morning and the whole room gets an overhaul every weekend. If the bed is not made before she leaves for school, I strip the sheets off and leave them in a pile on top of her bed, if Monday morning comes and her room isn’t spic and span, I throw everything away that isn’t put away. It only takes twice, the first time they throw a fit and it works for a little while, but the second time is the clincher – don’t back down…what ever your consequence is, don’t back down. It’s ok to be the bad guy) and she participates in the 15 min family pick-up every night that’s she’s not at work. The 14 yr old has his room (same rules), the bathroom, sweeping the floors, and the 15 min family pick-up every night. The 19 yr old has his ‘space’ (he’s on the couch), trash, front porch, general yard work, and the nightly pick up. The 17 yr old has fewer obligations at home because she’s out there trying to learn the ins and outs of being a good adult. My other two have more to do because I have to train them at home.

When they don’t do what they’re supposed to stuff gets taken away left and right. No phone, no computer, no TV, no what ever because they haven’t earned ‘the wages’ to pay for them. If they were out in the real world and didn’t do their work they wouldn’t be able to pay their phone bill or cable bill etc, so I’m helping them learn those lessons before credit lawyers help them learn them.

Hope that helps.

CLARISE - posted on 01/11/2010

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My kids pay for what is theirs. luxeries. my son pays 30 dollars a month for his cell phone, and my husband and i have agreed to buy him a car ONLY when he has a job to pay for his gas and a portion of his insurance. My daughter is not old enough to have a job but bugged for a whole year for a cell phone. she satrted highschool this year and does all the laundry in the house aside from her normal chores to pay for her cell phone each month. i think showing them responsibility is good thinking on moms...i mean they wont be with us forever and better they have an idea on what to expect. you are way leinent with your demands dont feel bad.

Teresa - posted on 01/11/2010

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I have 2 teenager drivers in my house they have to pay for their gas and spending money for the weekends and any extra stuff that they want (make-up,...etc.) Things have gotten rough around here so we have them making at least half of their car payment. They also have to run the other 2 kids around as well. I put it too them this way...The car and ins. is in our name and we are FAMILY and FAMILY's do stuff to help out when times are tough. Now you get with the program or you wont like the out come which means no car and no cell phone! Maybe she needs reminding that the car, cell phone, are a privilage no where does it state in the bible, or state law am I required to provide car..cell phone...anything else you want to add. lol

Joi - posted on 01/11/2010

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My son is 17 and has a job and financially he takes care of himself. We can't afford to provide him with a car but he pays his own bills(cell phone, bus pass, and all of his entertainment) I do not ask him to pay any of the bills in the house, but he still has to take out the trash and wash dishes in rotation with his 2 siblings. I don't mean to sound harsh but it sounds like it is time to put your foot down. If she doesn't contribute then you take away the car for anything other than picking up her siblings and going to work. If you have to talk to her job about more hours, then you still legally can do so. If the grades are slipping then it sounds like it is time to park the car and go back to the way it was. In my opinion, we enable our kids because of the way we were brought up, but I have realized tough love is the best love. And if she decides not to talk to you or gets upset with you. Just think of it this way, yeah it may hurt you but reverse it on her. Tell her you'll get over it or just flat out let her know you don't care if she is upset. Guarantee, she will come to you before you go to her. Hang in there mom.

Lori - posted on 01/11/2010

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My oldest daughter is now 18. When she turned 16, we said we would take her to get her license only after she had a job and could pay for her car insurance. Like you, we are happy to provide the car, and pay for the taxes and maintenance - but gas money and car insurance are HER responsibility. She turned 16 in June - wanted to go get her license. We said, "Sure - just as soon as you show us the job and the money." She didn't really think we'd stick to our guns about it - but we consider driving a very ADULT responsibility, and not a privilege you just 'give' a child. In August, she finally found a part time job - and it was a GREAT thing, for so many reasons we didn't even count on. Took her to get her license. She began driving her sister to school (on the way - she drove right past it every morning.....) She learned how to handle work (two or three shifts per week, usually) and school and homework - and we expected her to keep up with all of it. If she didn't/couldn't, then we would take the car. If she's not ready for the responsibility to hold a job, and learn how to manage her money by paying her insurance, then she's obviously not ready to have the responsibility of driving.

She never let us down. We were careful to be supportive - we believed in her (still do!), and knew she could do it!! And we didn't place SO much responsibility on her that we would be setting her up to fail - just SOME, so she could 'get her adult feet wet', so to speak.

She is in college now - still paying for her own insurance. She has her car at school, and we are grateful that she does since it gives her the freedom to be able to work there as well, and come home as she has time. Over this past Christmas break, she begged her old boss to let her work a few shifts to make a little money, and because she was bored with not enough to do!!

I have a 15 year old daughter also, who will be eligible to be licensed in August of this year - and she knows the same expectations and privileges apply to her. She can't WAIT to work, and is looking forward to the increased pre-adult 'freedom' that she feels it will gain her.

If you expect a lot, you will get a lot. The lines have to be carefully drawn according to the individual strengths and needs of each child - but giving them everything sets up the expectation that LIFE will give them everything - and we all know that's just not true.

How angry is she compared to not having the privilege of driving AT ALL??? For the record, my daughter's insurance ran her $125 per month - so your financial expectations are not out of line, IMO. Good luck with your decision!!

[deleted account]

My now 17yr and i have an agreement that if he wants his own car he has to pay me the extra on insurance, put his own gas in the car and any repairs etc that needs doing. He isn't working but he gets compensation. I think it is only fair that teenagers start paying their way in this world. There are too many out there that think they can get a free ride at home. When my son was working he was paying me $100 per week board. He wasn't too keen on this until i told him to find somewhere cheaper. He did the math and that was that. Now my son is far from the perfect child but i feel that what i am trying to install into him will help him be better prepared for when he does have his own place. Hope this helps.

Barbi - posted on 01/10/2010

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My daughter is almost 16, she knows that in order for her to drive she will be responsible for 1/2 her insurance and all of her gas. She will also be responsible for taking her brother to and from school. She has known all of this since she was very young so it isn't a surprise to her and she is currently saving her money so she will have some wiggle room with her funds. She has worked since she was 14 so she has almost enough saved to cover her first year.

You just have to make her stick to the agreement. Don't let her drive if she doesn't have her insurance or gas money no matter how much it would help you. She won't learn if you give in.

Tracey - posted on 01/10/2010

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When I was a teenager I gave my mum a third, spent a third and saved a third of my wages until I left home. The money I had saved went on a deposit for an apartment and bought the furniture.

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I think that she should do more to at least show apprecation for the car.!! In the summer of 2008 my son worked and saved up money. My back went out and I had to have back surgery he pitched in a helped pay the bills and buy groceries. I am paying him back, but it is a wonderful feeling when your child is willing to do what ever it takes to make sure that things are taken care of when you can't. A little trick that I used on my son was to get fake money and the bills. Then treat her as a bill collector or a landlord etc... would. Give her a monthly income with the fake money and then tell her that she has to pay all the bills and buy groceries and get what ever else a household would need. Also let her know that she will have to save money for the little things like gas, doctors, eating out, going out etc... With the money that you have given her. It is just an example. She really needs to know what the real world is all about. She also needs to know that if you don't learn these things now it can get you into trouble later in life. If this doesn't work then tell her that the car was the deal and the deal has been broken. It is like a contract that has been broken. Maybe if she sees what ya'll as her parents have to go through every month then she (might) be more willing to do the things that she has to do to help out. Try to be creative.

Nicole - posted on 01/10/2010

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My personal opinion would be now! I have a 17 yr old son, who I also helped him get a car. We have our struggles when it comes to money for repairs or gas, but he also plays sports most of the year, so that requires him to work one day per week! One thing I will say is with that one days worth of pay he does put gas in his car buys his own food he loves fast food! Well this past winter once foot ball was over he decided not to play basketball and work more hours, the car needed repairs and inspection he wanted more cloths and over all for the most part supports himself from a McDonalds pay check.... But nothing wrong with her help paying her way! Pretty soon she will be an adult and needs to learn that she will take on responsibilities that require her to pay

Angie - posted on 01/09/2010

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Find out what her insurance would be if she had taken a driver's ed class and had good grades then tell her she can pay the difference between the $800 and that amount. Don't put gas in her car, if she wants to drive she can put in her own gas. These are the rules we have with our son and he lives up to it. He also provides all his own spending money and buys all of his own clothes. It's better for them to learn these lessons now than when they are out on their own.

Karen - posted on 01/09/2010

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they have to contribute to owning a car. it's part of growing up and being responsible. i think she needs to pay towards her insurance. if things are not paid then you loose them. it's a privlige to drive not a right. if my teenagers want to drive they pay for there insurance and gas. i was brought up that way and they are to. if they work for it they will appreciate it more then it just being handed to them. my teenagers have there own insurance under there names and it is not under mine. she will appreciate what you are doing when she gets older. stay strong and good luck.

Sherri - posted on 01/09/2010

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My Daughter got a used car for her 16th she went out and got a job is expected to pay at least $200 for her insurance and her own gas. she purchased her own cell phone and pays her own cell bill. If she doesn't work and get her bill paid for her insurance she will not be driving.

Lorie - posted on 01/09/2010

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Jude, I appreciate the time it took to respond to my post, though you made several assumptions.

In a perfect world my daughter would behave the way I raised her, to show maturity/responsibility, not go against every single thing I have ever taught her, not only through conversations but by example. She would respond to the countless attempts to get her back on track. At this point, because of her behavior I provide only the required needs for her: food, shelter, etc. She gets nothing extra from me. If things don't take a dramatic turn in her behavior, when she turns 18 in a year & a half she will no longer be living in my home because I've spent so much time, money & effort to help her and believe that all that's left for her is to learn some things the hard way.

The expectation has been set and she is well aware her driving privileges depend upon her ability to pay the $25. The only reason we provided the car, which is a 1995 Mitsubishi 4 door Galant in dull gray by the way, is because it filled a need we had as a family- transporting them back & forth to school and giving her a means to find better employment since we live 7 miles from the nearest town.

Re-reading my original post I wasn't very clear, giving the impression I was asking if requiring the $25 was too much. I wanted to stress that she certainly doesn't deserve anything to just be given to her. I was more wondering what other parents require their teens to pay for as far as car repairs/maintenance, insurance, gas, etc.

I would love to have a side conversation about what do you do when all these things you suggested don't work. When you have a teen who is such an accomplished liar- to the point of being dangerous to the well being of the rest of the family when it comes to the seriousness of her lies. I love my daughter more than you could ever imagine & it kills me to be in the position we are. But while all these issues are going on I still have to go to work everyday, my kids have to have a way to & from school, life still goes on.

I'm truly happy that things went a different way for you & your teen. I wouldn't wish my struggles on any parent.

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