At a certain age, I thought my parents were truly stoopid. Come to find out they were only hiding in their protective parent-shells and being smart. Gah. I wasn’t a terrible kid. My sister was not a terrible kid. Even my brother was a good kid. My own kids are not BAD people. But, day-amm, if they aren’t stoopid lately. I want to blame the moon, but it’s not really working out for me. They’re just great big dumb teenagers and it would be wrong for me to beat them about their heads all day long (tempting as it might be).
Some of it seems to be a case of prolonged-childhood. In my unbiased opinion, they are too old to expect to be entertained everyday. In fact, they should be out there helping to earn their own way. I don’t remember my parents having to lay this all out for me (but maybe it’s a girl thing – I wanted way more clothes than my folks would ever buy). Here, it seems to be a step-by-step guide to “yes-you’re-going-to-have-to get-a-job-and-you-are-not-above-any-job.” And, sons, if the first job doesn’t pan out, you have to keep on going out there and filling out applications. Honestly, my head is exploding here. And, yes, I’ve suggested numerous times that they start their own business – but what do I know?
I read Danny the riot act this morning. He went and got his hair cut short (and much more flattering, if you ask his mom) and he applied at several places. I think he thinks I’m kidding about getting him up and on his way early tomorrow. The reality is, if the boys don’t pay their own car insurance (even on my 10-year-old-Suburban) NONE of us can afford to drive. I’m not bluffing. I’m not trying to teach them a lesson, that’s just how it is.
I’m bummed that none of the older boys seem to grasp the importance of earning their own money (not that they’re getting funds from us). Somewhere, I feel like I missed a big lesson with them. I’ve heard of families asking their older teens to pay for things like deodorant, shaving cream, razors, etc . . . I’m on the verge of doing this. But, it feels so petty on one hand and on the other hand it seems like something they need to learn.
I’m just down tonight. I’ve had a ton of crappy jobs, and so has Mike. While we didn’t like those jobs, we did them and learned from them. Our kids should do the same. They’ve grown up in a frugal world. They’ve grown up around successful entrepreneurs. They’ve grown up watching Mike and me work our butts off. And, somehow, it all seems to be lost on them. For now, it’s just going to be me “cracking the whip” to get them to get any kind of job. (In fairness, Ian and Tim are still 15 and no one – you know unless you take the initiative and start your own business – will hire anyone under 16) Danny, however, starts day two of finding a job. He’s clean. He’s sober. He’s articulate. There is NO reason in the world he should not have a job. (In his mind, most of his friends DON’T work AND they have cell phones and tons more downloads on I-pod.) I don’t know why his friends don’t work or why/how???? (how is the big question) they have cell phones with unlimited everything. This is NOT Dan’s reality. Time for wishing for a fairy-godmother is up.)
On one hand I want everything for my kids to be easy … on the other (BIGGER) hand, I want them to learn what it means to work for something and really have it mean something.
Anyway, tonight was one of those frustrating nights where no one was happy. I’m tired and I’m going to bed now.
In the meantime, I’m going to go soak my head in something and try to figure out where I went wrong with these older boys in the hopes of not passing it on to Andy.