Hi, Dr. Laura!
I thought you might like to hear an example of good parenting. This was my dad's idea, and my mom gave her full support. I'm now 48, pretty successful, and I own my own home and work hard to keep my good credit.
When I was 10 years old and my brother was 13, we were each given twenty dollars a week for an allowance, but there were stipulations attached. All our chores had to be completed to get the allowance, and out of that huge twenty dollars, we paid for all school supplies, and even lunches (but we had the option to pack our own FREE lunch at home). Out of that twenty dollars, we paid for all field trip expenses, all movie tickets (and popcorn) and even bicycle parts. If we wanted to buy an expensive item, we used our parents' "layaway" plan - we gave them money if we had extra from the week and we got the item only AFTER it was fully "paid" up. I got my first tape recorder after only five weeks of saving this way. Now here's the kicker to "The Deal" (as it was known in our house): our parents opened savings accounts in our names, and any money we gave them to deposit into the account, they would double and put in the account. Our Dad made both of us shake his hand as men as we agreed to it. I remember he corrected the way I shook his hand and told me a man shakes with a firm grip and meets a man's eyes in mutual respect. I still practice that today!
The benefits of "The Deal" was life-changing. My brother and I live well within our means, and we can afford to take care of our families. And neither of us have snowflakes for kids.
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