Friday, May 8, 2009

Reality Check: Haves and Have Nots

I was thinking today, as I was painting the ceiling over my head and the paint dripped upon my body, about my children. It made me think that maybe there is a conversation worth having, not with them mind you, but with you.

We believe certain things in life are a privilege and other things are necessary. Privileges are optional and necessary things aren't. I was reflecting on what my kids pay for out of their own funds and how they save for their Wants. What made me think about this whilst paint dripped upon me? My son. He is leaving for college soon and we're talking about a lot lately. We started this pretty young. So here are some examples:

Driving.... privilege. The kids can take the bus or as T puts it... use Buffy and Jody. So with this privilege comes the responsibility of paying for their insurance, cleaning the car or truck, and helping out with most of the gas expenses.

Car.. privilege. We aren't thinking this is such a good idea. There is something to be said about appreciating what you have to earn. Our son is quite frugal (on some things!)and even discusses gas mileage in the truck he is hoping to have this summer.

Cell Phone....privilege. I know you want to argue with me here but it really is a privilege. They are quite the luxury. So.. this too they pay for or no phone.

Food... necessity. Which parent would starve their kids? It's my job to have good food for them to eat.

Clothes... necessity and privilege. If the kids have everything they "need" and still want more, well by all means we tell them to mosey on over to the bank and use your funds. This of course causes second thoughts and creates wise stewards of what they do have.

Entertainment... this one is a little tougher. As our children got older their "entertainment needs" GREW and grew quickly. So balance is the key here. Do we pay for every dance and movie. NO. Do we do what's fair. Yes. Do the kids have to have it all and have it right now! No.

So my point is this: your children will be fine without all the newest clothes and the latest cell phone. They will also learn what it takes to buy things in life. One day it will be all up to them anyhow. Make sure you have prepared them while under your care for the reality of life. It sure ain't cheap! Now with this said, bless them too. Unexpected blessings are so much fun!!! Our kids get so giddy when we surprise them.

Reality Check: Where are you on the spectrum of Privilege vs. Necessity? Do you do too much for your kids or too little? Are your kids so young this is the first time you've thought of this? Give it some thought... you'll be glad you did.

Thanks for Listening,
Tuna Jones


Reg said...

Nice article, Sis. We are right there with these economic times even the needs get a closer look!

blessedmomto7 said...

I agree 150%!

The Klins Family said...

Well said, my friend! I lean too much on the discipline side and need to bless them more. I needed to hear that - thank you! I think I'll do just that for Mother's Day. Happy Mom's Day to you from CA.

Anonymous said...

We are on the same page as you in making the kids pay for their "wants" for the most part. We also started a long time ago having Sean pay for all his hockey gear - this ensures that he REALLY wants to play this very expensive and privileged sport! Now, Meghan follows in his steps in paying for all her horse "stuff". This is most shocking to Meghan and much harder on her. I think because she started having to
buy" things older than Sean was and Sean just grew up owing money or working to clear a debt. However, we do pay the cellular monthly bill but they bought the phones.
Thanks for Sharing T! Love you and miss you - talk soon.