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  1. #1
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    Default Raising Non-Slackers: What are you willing to do?

    The rash of "Child is of voting age and yet can't earn a living. Help!" theme can be found everywhere these days.

    It makes me want to rewind the tape and ask what parents did or didn't do to "get their kids broke while they weighed 100# as opposed to 1,000#."

    I don't have children of my own, but I did have a mom who got her children "broke"-- and was a harried single mom who had plenty of reason to look the other way rather than stepping up and parenting us.

    So what do you see helping kids at any age become good young adults?
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  2. #2
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    You have to teach them that life isn't fair. Not everybody is a winner. I hate the gold star for participating mentality. DD is ten. I expect her to pack her backpack with everything she needs. I do pack her lunch, but she has to put it in her backpack. If she forgets to put in an assignment, I will not go back home to grab it for her. She takes the attitude check in class. She does it enough, she gets detention.

    Failing doesn't mean you are a failure. It means you learn how to try harder
    From AliCat518 "Seriously, why would you NOT put fried chicken in your purse?!"


    14 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
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    Mine are still young so we'll have to see how it all plays out but judging from their cousins and father, aunts and uncles our primary tool has been chores.

    My kids are nearly 13 and 15 and as I mentioned somewhere before they're good workers already. People call them to do work for them, stacking hay, babysitting, yard work, painting, ect. They get rave reviews b/c they're polite, work hard, don't carry cell phones, and are reliable. The local feedstore and grocery store have asked my son to come in as soon as he's old enough to work for them.

    All their cousins have been the same way, hard workers, working early at jobs, very successful and innovative, paper routes, that whole scenario. Their aunts/uncles from DH's side (he's one of 8) are all extremely clever hard-workers that supported themselves from a young age and are all sought after for their work ethic and reliability. Most of them own their own business and are very successful. They were raised very poor and their parents couldn't give them money so they had to earn their own, always. At one point DH's entire family had the entire town's paper routes! LOL they would canvas the town and deliver all the papers. They had chores, milking the cow and hauling hay and feeding and dishes and all that, every day no exceptions except for birthdays.

    His mom is a tough Catholic lady that instilled discipline, no complaining, do what you're told, get the work done and be honest, take care of yourself and family first. Her influence rings through all of them and her grandchildren. In DH's home town all you have to do is say you're from the family and you'll get hired-people know they're honest hard workers.

    Any kid in her family, or her kids' families, didn't have a chance to be a leech. No blood from a turnip and she would not have tolerated someone not pulling their weight and doing their best.

    Our kids have had chores twice a day since they were toddlers feeding the lambs and steering the feed truck. They got up and out the door before light when it was -30 degrees and blizzards and they got up with us many nights for the 2 am calf check. These days they seriously get up at 5:30 AM and milk the cow before school, something not many high schoolers do! LOL

    Work, discipline, consistency, expectations, being part of the family work and effort, we've had a lot of fun doing all our work together. They're proud of themselves and know that we're proud of them too.


    11 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
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    I'm with rustbreeches. My parents let us fall flat on our faces (myself and my middle sister, at least. They catered to the young one and she's in rehab now... so case and point) more than once... we learned to pick ourselves up and either fix the problem or take note and move on.

    My kids will learn the same way. I think the best thing that my parents could have ever done for me was let me fail.
    Quote Originally Posted by MistyBlue View Post
    I prefer them outside playing as opposed to standing in the barn aisle playing "I can crap more than you"
    New Year, New Blog... follow Willow and I here.


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  5. #5
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    Agreed, rustbreeches! I don't prop my kids up either, they get their own consequences.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
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    Dec. 2, 2004
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    Default

    I am in the teach your kids to get up and self-start their own days camp. Huge life skill benefit.

    And the whole step up to the plate in life attitude and philosophy.

    Or - the general just make their life at home a living hell so they'll want to leave !
    The truth is what you can get other people to believe.

    -- Tommy Smothers



  7. #7
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    I think farm life is great for raising kids who understand consequences. If you don't get out there, the animals don't eat. If the animals don't eat, we don't eat. If you shoot something, it dies. It doesn't get back up.
    From AliCat518 "Seriously, why would you NOT put fried chicken in your purse?!"


    4 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
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    Feb. 28, 2006
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    Default

    She's got chores, she has to do them, and I've been known to go off to work at 0330 after kicking her butt out of bed at 0300 because she didn't get around to putting the dishes in the dishwasher. Yes, she has a lot of homework and somtimes she does get a pass but not always.

    She's an only child and we've always spoken to her pretty directly, she's real smart but even if she weren't we'd have expectations that she had to meet. We do expect her to think about how she could do better next time, even when she was little, we try not to be too negative but not too sappy sweet positive either.

    And one of the things we did about ten years ago was stop watching cable and broadcast TV. Waste of time and I felt it sent messages through the commercials that I didn't agree with.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible



  9. #9
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    Dec. 2, 2004
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    Default

    There was a well written article yrs ago about the difference in parenting these days. The gist being that the parents didn't let the kids take their own consequences, that the parents were taking them for the kids.

    you know, the judicial system, as an example. What's the he double l wrong with a kid stepping up in juvenile court and pleading guilty when they've been caught red handed. What's all this not guilty BS???? and 'hiring' a fancy ass attorney for the job?

    I hate to say it this way - but .... back in the old day (sigh)

    YOU decided when you did something YOU KNEW was bad that it was worth the consequence. And then when that moment came - you TOOK the consequences, without whining (b/c that was just going to make it worse!) and you didn't hate your parents for it. It was swift, quick and just. Now I'm not advocating that old-fashioned backyard switching but there can be rational fair consequences that can be handed out. And parents need to uphold them without fail.

    so there's my soapbox.
    The truth is what you can get other people to believe.

    -- Tommy Smothers


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10

    Default

    I think we teach a lot by example. Are you a lazy couch potato? Surprised your kids are, too? Do you complain endlessly about your job, the housework, yard work? Complain about paying your fair share of taxes? Or do you talk about social responsibility, do you volunteer in your church or community? Are you grateful for (any) advantages? Do YOU say please and thank you?

    Not a 100 percent guarantee, and there's more to parenting than this, but it's a good start.

    Mine are grown with college degrees, no student loan debt, gainful employment they enjoy, families of their own and good credit ratings ... Ages 31 and 28. (Yes, I am proud and grateful!)


    4 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by King's Ransom View Post
    I think we teach a lot by example. Are you a lazy couch potato? Surprised your kids are, too? Do you complain endlessly about your job, the housework, yard work? Complain about paying your fair share of taxes? Or do you talk about social responsibility, do you volunteer in your church or community? Are you grateful for (any) advantages? Do YOU say please and thank you?
    This is so very true. I love what I do for a living, and my father loved his career as well. I think it's so important for my son to see that, and it's shaped how he looks at his future.

    So much of what we have in life is a privilege, and if you don't treat it with care you could lose it. I believe in instilling that mindset in my son--whether it be taking care of the house and pets, volunteering at the animal shelter, or opening the door for others--we are fortunate to have each of those opportunities and we should never take them for granted. We also try to reinforce that it's important to know what someone expects or needs of you and then do more than that--the ability to consistently exceed expectations is what will take him far, no matter if it's in his personal interactions or his work.

    I like logical people---they provide a nice contrast to the real world.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
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    Jul. 14, 2006
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    Default

    Interesting topic. I think that there are many ways to raise productive citizens, just like their are many ways to train a horse, but all have a fine balance of expectations, consequences and encouragement. Extremes at either end are a bad thing.

    I don't have kids but I spent a good part of college and grad school doing tutoring as a part time job. A good number of academic problems boiled down not to inability to do the work but some combination of fear of failure, self-doubt, anxiety, lack of organization or work ethic etc. Sometimes I heard stories that would curl your hair (ie severe punishments for an A minus, being labeled the "stupid" kid in the family for not getting into the Ivy league like an older sibling). These kids never had the sense that Mom & Dad were rooting for them, more like waiting for them to fail. The rule was "you must be THE best" as opposed to "you must work hard and try YOUR best" philosophy, most of the time accompanied by some narrow preconceived notion of what constitutes an acceptable educational or career path. Some were academically/professionally successful but are emotional wrecks who will keep their therapists in business for the next decade. Some ended up as 20 something slackers on Mom & Dad's couch because NOTHING they did would ever be good enough and they weren't in control of the results anyway, so why bother with ANYTHING? A few broke free--moved cross country (or in one case cross the Atlantic), did what they wanted with or without parental support.

    I also think people (kids and adults, alike) need dreams to motivate them. I grew up strongly influenced by my immigrant grandparents on both sides, who believed in their dreams enough to leave everything and move to a new country where they knew no one outside of family and didn't speak the language. I dated a guy in college whose father had imparted unto him a life philosophy that Being a Man (tm) means working your arse off at some sucky job you hate for 40 years in order to support your woman and kids. He had many talents and could have succeeded in a lot of different fields, but literally could not conceive that he deserved anything more or was even allowed to dream of anything more. Keep in mind that we're talking something competitive but doable, not winning American Idol or being an astronaut. We broke up shortly after graduation largely over this difference. He floundered about for a few years and is still, 10 years later, in a dead end job.

    BES
    Proudly owned by 2 chestnut mares
    Crayola Posse: sea green
    Mighty Rehabbers Clique


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
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    Posting as a 23 year old here...

    I agree that a lot of it is how you are raised (and the recommendations here are great), but I think it's important to separate the "too lazy to make a living" and the "actually unable to make a living" groups. It appears to me that the middle class and middle age groups often forget how bad this economy really is because they're not affected by it on a daily basis.

    My parents were both out of their houses and independent by 17 and they raised me to be independent too. I had a job by the time I was 14 (a real, paying taxes job) and was always expected to pay for my own horse stuff outside of what I received as birthday or Christmas presents. I was gifted a second (third actually) hand car when I was 16, but I paid for any maintenance and was taught to change the oil, rotate the tires, and do other basic work on it. My parents paid for my college education but I always worked 2-3 jobs to support myself and my hobbies. I got good grades and finished college with a very competitive resume.

    However, I had a HELL of a time finding a job out of college. I am very grateful that my parents welcomed me back home for a short period of time so I could work my old part time summer job to have some sort of income. They did put a limit on how long I could stay there, but without their help I probably would have ended up in a very bad place financially.

    To give you an idea: I applied for an average for 5 jobs per week. (Cover letters, applications, and resumes.) I followed up by email, phone, or in person when I could. Even keeping this up for 5 months, I ended up with: 1 seasonal job for a friend's company (that I didn't even really apply for), 1 part time stall job, 1 offer to break 2 way to old horses in exchange for a room to sleep in, and the job I'm at now (where I moved to another country to make $500 a month).

    I'm not saying there aren't lazy people in my generation, because there are a lot of them. However, I also feel like there's an attitude that "any of the younger folk who don't have a self-sustaining job are just lazy" and I encourage you to reconsider that attitude.
    Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique

    Fourteen Months Living and Working in Costa Rica


    11 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
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    That's for sure, Wonders. There's a difference between being unemployed and being a slacker.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
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    Once I asked my parents if they would pay me for getting A's like some of my friends' parents did. They responded "Why? We expect you to get A's because you're smart. Why should we pay you for just meeting normal expectations?"

    I received a monthly allowance, on the understanding that I never asked them for money to go to the movies or something and that I would do ANY chores asked, no whining. I was also expected to save X% of that allowance.

    They also taught me the importance of commitment to promises. Since I committed to being in a music performance group I was not allowed to skip practices because I had procrastinated on a school project or someone wanted to go somewhere.
    "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

    Phoenix Animal Rescue


    3 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueEyedSorrel View Post
    Sometimes I heard stories that would curl your hair (ie severe punishments for an A minus, being labeled the "stupid" kid in the family for not getting into the Ivy league like an older sibling). These kids never had the sense that Mom & Dad were rooting for them, more like waiting for them to fail. The rule was "you must be THE best" as opposed to "you must work hard and try YOUR best" philosophy, most of the time accompanied by some narrow preconceived notion of what constitutes an acceptable educational or career path.
    I think this is a huge part of parenting; teach them they have to try their best, and reward them for that, along with consequences for not trying.

    My DD had excellent grades but knew that we were most proud of her work ethic that earned them, not the grades themselves.
    The one time she came home with with a bad midterm I'm sure she thought the gates of Hell had opened right there in the living room (and I'm sure she could tell horrible stories about being punished for not getting an A...or a C ), but we made it clear it wasn't the grade, but about the grade combined with the fact that we had not seen her crack the book for that class for a couple weeks and knew she was capable of doing better with a little (or any!) effort. She learned from the consequences and started making an honest effort and life was good again.

    I think part of it is also sharing your day with kids. My DD (and myself when I was growing up) heard about good and bad days and knew we had to work hard for our money (big effort, big reward) and what it was that our work entailed.
    I am surprised at the kids who only know "Daddy works in a big building and has lots of lunches and trips" or "Mommy works with a bunch of people and always has stories about her mean boss" but don't have a clue as to what work their parents actually do, and then we wonder why young adults don't have a clue that working means learning and doing something and not sitting in a cubicle gossiping with co-workers (after all, that's what is shown on tv).



  17. #17
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    Letting children make choices. Teach, then let go. Our girls wore some awful clothes to church, but it was their choice. There were other choices too. They had to deal with the consequences.

    Only areas off limits were those that had permanent consequences. Tattoo for example. They got those after they left our house.



  18. #18
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    I don't have kids, but I have thought a lot about how I was raised compared to the teenagers I see now.

    The difference I see is in expectations. Although my parents never stated this to me, somehow I implicitly understood that in order to receive privileges, I had to hold up my end of the bargain. My "job" included being well-behaved, getting good grades in school and helping around the house -- generally being a good kid! It was by doing my job that I earned things like riding lessons, spending money, and my parents' respect and trust. They were not owed to me.

    Of course, my parents never really had to lay down the law to me, either, because I respected them and did not want to disappoint them. About the best way to keep me on track was my parents telling me, "I trust you to do the right thing."

    I have also paid for everything on my own since I was 18, including education. My parents have said that I can always come home to live if I ever need to, and I did for a summer once. But other than eating my father's groceries during that time, I have always paid my own way and have never suffered for it.

    I have also never doubted in my parents' love and support, which has been unflagging, and for which I will always be grateful.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream." --Vincent Van Gogh


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  19. #19
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    Talking about letting kids try stuff. Lets enter another thing-doing your kids homework/projects/housework for them, I cant think of something that burns my but more than that. Coworker does papers for her 16 y/o son, Really? Why? Not because he couldnt do it but he didnt want to so she did them for him. Whats that teaching him, that he doesnt have to do anything or that he is stupid? If my kids are given an assignment they do it-they are smart enough & if they ask for advice I will give it but I have NEVER done it for them, & rarely check the work.
    One kid in my sons grade had Dad do science fair project which was so over the top he didnt get a good grade on it because it was obviously not his work (good for them).
    “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker


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  20. #20
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    I know Ive done a good job (not bragging ) when my kids complain about how their friends behave/dress/talk to parents/treat $ stuff. They know whats right/wrong even if they would like to do all that deep down.
    “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker


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