children · lifestyle · uplift

Helping your kids, not enabling them

Now that my kids are getting older, I have the constant struggle of wanting to help them but not wanting to enable them. They are getting more and more capable of doing things on their own, and part of me just wants to help them so it is easier, but part of me wants them struggle a bit so they can get better at it and be more self reliant.

Let me give you an example. My older 2 kids are in a Youth Symphony Orchestra and on top of their yearly dues, each musician is responsible for collecting $150 for the symphony. I really wanted them to work for it, but they are so busy and too young to have a formal job. When it came down to it, I wanted them to earn the money on their own and feel ownership for the required fee. I knew this would be a lot of work for me to organize an opportunity for them to earn money, but the principal was that they would work for it and feel ownership which would be worth it. On a day we knew there was no school, the kids and I made flyers for a kids camp. Parents could drop their kids off for 3 hours and my kids would do a craft, and activity, a work out, a game and have a snack with the kids for this time. Each kid would pay $15 for the 3 hours. We ended up having 14 kids over at our house {not including the rest of my own kids} and each kid had their area of what they were in charge of. My 13 year old made up a work out with a playlist and the kids loved doing that with him. My 11 year old was in charge of painting canvases with the kids. They played games and fed them. Once all of the kids were gone, we all agreed that it was a whirlwind at the house with all of the campers, but so worth it because my kids earned nearly enough for their dues. With the extra that was still needed, my 13 year old shoveled drive ways and my 11 year old babysat for me a few times. Mission accomplished and I didn’t give in and just pay the total myself. They learned hard work and the value of a dollar.

My kids get paid an allowance based off of their weekly chore list. If they didn’t get chores passed off and zones {parts of the house} cleaned, they don’t get paid. I suspect the older they get, the more motivated they will be to get money and will really want to step up their chores! Raising kids is difficult yet rewarding. It is the perfect balance of loving them yet making them self sufficient. Pushing them to get better, but in a kind way. Teaching them about money so they appreciate the things they want and have. Believe me, we have been parents for almost 14 years and we are still learning all of this parents stuff and most of the time we feel like we are failing, but then we see these kids get older and realize that they are amazing and it makes it all worth it.

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