My daughter quit her job, is unemployed, and we’re not even one bit upset about it.
My eldest daughter is 18. Around 13/14 she began working as a mother’s helper during weekends and summers. By 15, she was baby sitting on her own and even on retainer during the summer by a particular family. By 17, she was working at the mall and at 18 she began working as a waitress.
We never asked her to get a job, and honestly we’d have been happier if she hadn’t. But, we also understood that teenage need for money. We had hoped that by making an agreement with her to cover her expenses (car insurance, gas, etc.) that she would forgo working during college. We agreed that we felt her primary responsibility should be her education. We have the means to cover those costs and her educational expenses, at this time, and wanted to lift that burden of having to balance work, school, and social life. In the end, we followed her lead.
Yesterday, she quit her job. And we are not even a little bit upset about it, and happy to afford her an opportunity that many kids are not given. We know how incredibly lucky we are to be doing this for her, and trust me we are not rolling in the dough financially. We have made sacrifices to ensure this is possible (thanks Dave Ramsey).
Adulthood isn’t easy, and for some reason we as a society are really pushing our kids there faster and faster. My daughter has shared how many of her friends were basically told to get a job and move out at 18 years old. Now, they are coming out of high school and having to look for apartments, find roommates, and pay bills that most 18 year olds can not afford even if they have a full time job. If you have had a teenager looking for a job recently, you’ll know what I mean. The picking are slim, and the money isn’t great. I know several girls who are carrying multiple jobs and trying to focus on college, at 18.
I understand that not everyone is in the same financial space we are, that can offer their college age students the same deal we did. But goodness, can they not just keep their bedroom a few more years? Do they need to understand the weight of carrying two jobs to make ends meet when they are barely out of high school?
Lest you think me judgemental, let me establish my own history. My mother was a single mom, my dad barely paid child support and there was no alimony ever. In fact, he didn’t start paying his arrears until I was married (I’m the youngest of 3). My mother worked multiple jobs, during many of these years. I busted my butt for scholarships, and family members had paid into a college fund for me. My mom never required me to work, or to move out. So, I understand that even when circumstances seem tight, we still have an option to support our kids the best we can and give them the best hope at a good start.