Tough Economic Times Can Be Teachable Moments
Tough Economic Times Can Be Teachable Moments
What I’m about to suggest may seem unusual, but the term is certainly familiar: Teamwork
Bonus - you may just find that your kids will learn a whole lot more about coming together in love to meet a common need in their lives going forward. Remember: human actions do speak louder than words!
Families were designed to share and show love to one another. Good parents give good things to their children:
Safety and security
Training, Education and more
Parents love their children. Children also love their parents. I know it may not seem so at certain ages and stages of life. But you have got to overlook some things, right? As a parent, you are the more mature one.
The bottom line is this:
Families were created to show and share love. So, when eggs are selling for $8 a dozen and gasoline is skating toward the $5 mark, and many car prices are out of reach, it is time to do more than expose your fright or frustration.
It does your kids no good to see hot tempers and jittery nerves in their parents.
They need to hear less conversation about how many times the Fed has raised interest rates and more talk about teamwork.
They are kids. Kids understand sports and teamwork.
Maybe it is time for parents to introduce their children to family teamwork. How do we do that? Glad you asked.
Let’s start out with the assumption that everyone in the household would like to see the family succeed financially. What if every member of the family were to participate in making that happen? What would it look like?
The bottom line is called sharing each other’s burdens. Get the kids involved in money conversations. How much money comes in and how much money goes out every week or every month. This would naturally lead to solutions to the family’s current budget crisis:
What can we afford to buy?
What should be put on hold?
What bills must be paid and when?
Set a goal. Get everyone in agreement that this family will do what it takes to succeed financially and not go under. This means that everyone on the team pitches in to get the work done and the bills paid. Layout the chores to be done weekly and the money that goes out monthly.
Dusting and picking up miscellaneous books, magazines, blankets, pillows, etc.
Vacuuming rugs and straightening furniture.
Pick up and put away anything that has been strewn in the common areas.
Children can and should learn how to use Swiffers, brooms, and light-weight vacuum cleaners.
Older teens can and should be able to do:
Outdoor and Lawn care: mowing, raking, picking up debris and toys in the yard. Shovel snow. Melt or clear standing ice in walkways or driveways. Hand wash cars, trucks, and other entertainment activity vehicles. Sweep steps and sidewalks. Wash windows.
Indoor: washing and drying clothes. Getting permanent press items on hangers and put away into closets. Folding towels, sheets, pillow cases, socks, undies, etc. put away the folded items where they belong. Wash windows.
Meal preparation (and timing for dinner), frying, baking, cooking. Creating a meal list and accompanying grocery shopping list (after checking on hand pantry and freezer inventory). Go to the grocery store. Take turns doing the dishes or loading the dishwasher. Hand-washing stubborn pots and pans. Sweeping the kitchen after meals.
Help pitching in with the family expenses
Older teens who have jobs can help in these ways:
Buy and pay for groceries 1 week per month
Gas up all the family vehicles once per month
Pay for 10-25% of the utility bills each month
Young adults who are not already paying for their own vehicle insurance, could start.
Young adults who have moved back home
These young people you love – and who love you back – were already living outside of your home and paying rent and utilities. It is not too much to ask them to pitch in to make the family (they are living with) successful.
Paying a fixed sum of money on the house payment each month.
Paying a fixed sum of money toward utilities each month.
Buying groceries once or twice per month – for the whole family.
Pay for vehicle gasoline – for the whole family – once or twice per month.
Of course, you may experience some revolt or rebellion. They are kids. That is what kids do. It is (and has been) up to you – as parents – to teach them and train them up in the way that they should go. Then, as they grow older, they will not depart from what you have taught them. Yes, it may take awhile for some to get on board, but it will happen in time.
As a family, once you are back on your feet again financially, you may want to decrease the amount of work or money that your kids are pitching in. But on the other hand, why would you? Doesn’t everyone benefit when a family works together as a team?
Pause and consider.
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