Babies on the Brain

If a family has financial problems...

(big ones, where the home is threatened or the utilities keep getting cut off, not enough food, etc)...

...should teenage children be expected to work to help financially care for the family?

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Re: If a family has financial problems...

  • I think a child's education should be the most important thing, but if it's possible for him/her to work and contribute financially then it would be character building and teach responsibility. I worked in HS and my money was my own, but had my family been in dire financial stress, I surely would have offered to give that money to my mom.
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  • Unfortunatly this was true for my husband.  His dad had a stroke when we were in HS and the mom had to stay at home and care for him (he is now in a nursing home).  So my husband went to work and gave his money to his mom to pay for heat and food.  They were renting so the landlord worked the rent out for them for a while as well.

    He was not asked to.  He volunteered to.  

     

    Not sure what direction we are headed. Either way, I am up for the ride.
  • That is a tough situation.  I am interested in seeing what everyone else has to say.

     

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  • Personally, I don't think so. I think school should be the kids #1 priority.

    If we're talking 19, living at home - that's a different story. But, generally, I think it's the job of the parent to provide a stable living environment for their HS age (and under) children. 

  • if they are older then 16, yes! they should be mature enough to know that times get tuff and learn responsiblity, i worked since i was 13. (in a resturant, i was a hostess., it was family owned, but i wrked 3 days a week and made decent money)
  • I don't want to say expected/required, but having a job can be very rewarding and educational for a teenager. I got a job the day I was eligible (14 and 9 months) and had one all through hs and college. 4.2gpa  in HS and 3.7 in college so it didn't impact my education at all. On the contrary, it taught me the beauty of time management, so whilest in college, I had no problem balancing work, school and fun.

    However, the money was mine, and I relished that. I didn't get an allowance, so it was my spending money.

  • I think a job to help relieve the teenager's costs would be helpful. ?Like, get a job so you can rent your own tux for prom or, pay for your own time out with friends. ?If it's really bad, and the teenager feels inclined to do so, they may contribute some to the household.
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  • I never answered the question if it were my children.  I would have to take a lot into consideration.  Their grades, maturity, age.  I hope that we are never in this situation. 
    Not sure what direction we are headed. Either way, I am up for the ride.
  • Ok, question 2:  If you were a neighbor and saw the teenage child/children NOT working, would you judge the family for that? 

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  • I was expected to care for my baby brother when my parents worked sans pay.  I don't see a big difference.  I would hope that I would raise my kids in a manner where they would volunteer to help out if need be.
  • i don't think they should be required to, but i hope they were raised to want to help
  • I do not think you should require it of a teenager, but I would certainly hope that, as a young adult, he/she would step up and do the right thing.
  • I don't think they should be expected to, I think it is the parent's job to provide for children until they are 18. I would hope that if our family were ever in that situation and we had a teen that they would want to work to help contribute, but I would never force or expect it.
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  • image Danse:

    Personally, I don't think so. I think school should be the kids #1 priority.

    If we're talking 19, living at home - that's a different story. But, generally, I think it's the job of the parent to provide a stable living environment for their HS age (and under) children.?

    this! Now if the child chooses to that's different but I think there are other things children should be doing for the most part. Sports, clubs, etc.?

  • I would not judge the family if the teen was not working, but I would certainly judge the teen (but would keep views to myself, of course!)
  • FWIW, in my statement, I am not against teenagers working - I think it can be great, especially teach them how to balance work/school/activities/friends.

    It's being "required" to give the parents money to cover basic necessities (home costs) that bother me.  If they want to volunteer some of their funds, that's should be up to them, IMO.

  • image fredalina:
    Ok, question 2:  If you were a neighbor and saw the teenage child/children NOT working, would you judge the family for that? 

    I'll be honest. I would probably judge a little. Not "they should have their kids taken away, they're crap parents" kind of judgment, but I'd kind of wonder how those kids were raised if the teenager's first inclination isn't to run out and get a job at BK to help his own mom out of a bad situation.

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  • judge them? probably not... but i'm sure i won't know everything about their situation
  • image fredalina:
    Ok, question 2:  If you were a neighbor and saw the teenage child/children NOT working, would you judge the family for that? 

    No. 

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  • Interesting, well, my husband and his little sister mostly supported the entire family when they were only 3 and 6.  Though they weren't given that option and they were supposed to get the money they earned when they turned 18 (SO didn't happen!).  So I guess if the parents intend to pay for furthering their children's education (city college at least) it's OK.  Also if there's some factors in the parent's have low income- like illness or injury then it's OK.  But if the parents are just lazy sh*ts who drink all day and can't hold a job but they refuse to seek counseling of any kind- heck NO!  That child shouldn't be forced to live with those sort of circumstances and help fund them.
  • image Mysterious_wife:

    image fredalina:
    Ok, question 2:  If you were a neighbor and saw the teenage child/children NOT working, would you judge the family for that? 

    No. 

    I wouldn't judge. I would worry that the child currently or one day would exemplify the bratty, self-centered notion that too many teenagers have that the world revolves around them. Half my students are so used to getting everything handed to them on a silver platter, they'd die if they had to do anything to EARN things.

  • Yeah, i'm not talking about the child paying for their own "special" expenses like prom dresses, movies with friends, or even name brand clothes.  Those would be among the first things to be cut from the budget if we were  having serious financial trouble (after our own extras were cut first).  i mean should the child fork over their $150 a week part-time job pay for the parents to pay for utilities and groceries?

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  • image fredalina:
    Ok, question 2:  If you were a neighbor and saw the teenage child/children NOT working, would you judge the family for that? 
    '

     If it was a child 19 or over, possibly/probably. Younger - no, I wouldn't judge.

    For me, it also really depends on what go them into that situation to begin with. I know a LOT of people that spend outside their means to have a bunch of "stuff." If that's what's going on and causing the household expenses to not be paid, I'd judge the parents and hope the kid can get out and learn from the parents mistakes.

    If it's for health conditions or something that is out of anyone's control, I wouldn't judge, but still think the kids' top priority should be education, etc. They have plenty of time to be an adult and worry about adult responsibilities. Of course, if they volunteer to help out, that's wonderful, but it shouldn't be expected IMO. 

  • image fredalina:
    Ok, question 2:  If you were a neighbor and saw the teenage child/children NOT working, would you judge the family for that? 

    I would hope not.  Teenager = still in hs, nope I would not see it as an issue, a teenager who has graduated hs but still lives at home and is a bum, then yeah...but I would not judge the family, I think I would think the kid is a lazy ass who only thinks of him/herself.  

    Not sure what direction we are headed. Either way, I am up for the ride.
  • image WriterChick24:

    image fredalina:
    Ok, question 2:  If you were a neighbor and saw the teenage child/children NOT working, would you judge the family for that? 

    I'll be honest. I would probably judge a little. Not "they should have their kids taken away, they're crap parents" kind of judgment, but I'd kind of wonder how those kids were raised if the teenager's first inclination isn't to run out and get a job at BK to help his own mom out of a bad situation.

    This is my thinking, too.


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  • image fredalina:
    Ok, question 2:? If you were a neighbor and saw the teenage child/children NOT working, would you judge the family?for that??

    No. I think it depends on the child's situation. We were expected to either play a sport or have a job and it would have been virtually impossible to do both. I worked in the summers and around holidays when I could but for the most part sports(I played 4 varsity sports in hs and 3 more outside of school) and various other clubs that I was president/vp of took up almost all of my time. Without those extracurriculars I never would have gotten into the college I went to so I think it's important for children to focus on what looks best on a resume ultimately.

  • My grandfather grew up as a migrant worker (although he was born in the US, as where his parents) and was working with his family as a child.  thepoineerwoman.com's kids work on their ranch. I think that because we are sitting in the developed world we get to have this debate. 
  • Depends on the situation of all parties involved. If there is some tragic situation (father has stroke, unforeseen unemployment: loses insurance: has stroke etc) then I would expect my child to WANT TO help out if possible over 16yo.

    Not being a severe situation but just simply economic hardship, then no.

    Having said that, I also know a situation where hard times fell due to job loss and teenage son kept living as if things were fine: bowling, partying, driving to friends all the time, eating out every night and was draining the family further without working much. I judged them because the parent LET them get away with it knowing they were losing their house. It was bad parenting in my opinion. Had he not worked but cut out the items that were costing them money and made an effort to help out around the house etc, I would not have judged them. But if you can go party and help your friends work on cars and eat out every night then you darn sure have enough time and talent to take a part time job to atleast pay for those activitites to alleviate the burden and the parent should have taught him that. He's 24, living at home, not working..STILL so there you go.

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  • AmommaTAmommaT
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    I think that the teenager (15-16 and up and with decent grades) should work weekends and over the summer to help pay for their expenses (school supplies/books, money for snacks, non-essential clothes,cell phone) to help take the extra burden off of the parents.

    I don't think a kid should be expected to work to pay the mortgage - but if the kid decides to turn the paycheck over to his parents to help out - that would be nice.

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  • image idkmybffk8:
    i don't think they should be required to, but i hope they were raised to want to help

    This for me as well. Though if they had a hard time keeping up with school, I would say that school in the main focus.?

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