Essentially, this woman replied that not only did her mother give her an allowance and expect her to do chores, BUT she then actually billed her for wasting resources, like leaving the lights on, or leaving the water running, or holding the fridge open for 20 minutes. I mean, it was only a tiny portion of the actual bill itself, but still, it makes a great point, and likely serves to prevent (or at least temper) that sort of behavior going forward.
Her mother is a freaking genius, I say!
As parents we tend to just give, give, give, and then, you know, give some more. We live in a land of excess. We grew up in an age of mass commercialism. And we're raising our kids in a world of instant gratification.
And as much as we try not to, I'll admit I'm just as guilty of buying things for the kids that they haven't quite earned, of letting them have that little thing they want "just this time," of allowing them to push the limits of behavior beyond what my grandmother would have thought was acceptable because they're "just kids," you know?
And while I think we're among the majority who do try to tie financial rewards to chores or good grades or good behavior, a part of me truly does feel that kids should get to be kids while they're kids, and only have to deal with grown up responsibilities once they're adults. Part of the amazing thing about being a kid is that feeling of being free, you know? But that feeling doesn't usually last long.
Because, ultimately, we don't want to raise spoiled, ungrateful, irresponsible, inconsiderate, unruly children in a world where those qualities have become not only the norm, but even revered. And I don't care if we never see our kids on Sweet 16, or NYC Prep, or Lindsay Lohan's Top 8. These are not goals. These are symptoms of a disease.
And I'm saying I know how to prevent that from happening irrefutably. And I'm not saying that wanting to give more to your children than you had as a child is a bad thing. All I'm saying today is that this...this freaking phenomenal kid's invoice idea...this is a simple matter of give and take.
If you're wasteful, you need to be responsible for that loss.
That's a lesson for the ages, people. And one that, as a global community, we could stand to heed before it's too late.