Last night my 10 year old received his Webelos award for Cub Scouts. I love it when the kids get to Webelos age because it means the adult leader pretty much takes over and does everything so I don't have to do much anymore. Bear and Wolf are a pain because so much of it is "at home assignments". I love showing up to Pack Meeting, my kid getting his award and I didn't do anything but get him to the meetings on time.
While there I was talking to one of the other moms and the subject of my 17 year old working came up. She asked, "When did you make him get a job? We've been struggling to figure out which age is best for getting a job."
I then told her the story of "The Boy Gets a Job".
About the time he turned 16 the hubs and I informed The Boy that he would need to find a job because in essence--the gravy train was running dry around here.
This is how the conversation went with his dad:
Hubs: Son, you need to find a job.
Hubs: Because you need to earn your own money. We're not paying for your clothes and things anymore.
16: (looking dejected) Fine. But I just don't see the point.
Hubs: You don't see the point? Your friends all have jobs.
16: I've looked around and no one is hiring.
Hubs: Look again.
16: (some hemming and hawing)
Hubs: Is there a problem? Do you need help with filling out applications? I will help you if you need help.
16: No. Dad. I don't want to get a job.
Hubs: What? Why?
16: Because it's just not my "thing". (I bolded that because it's just the funniest, stupidest thing ever.)
Hubs: It's just not your "thing"? Well, what exactly is your "thing"?
16: Hanging out in my room with friends, playing the guitar, listening to music......
At this point the Hubs came up and told me what conversation had just transpired. I laughed pretty hard.
A week later the boy had a job mowing lawns on a lawn crew. I pretty much scouted it out and got him the job. He's been doing it now for about a year and a half.
A month after he started he came home telling us how much he liked working and how he felt like it gave him a purpose. Imagine. When we tell 15 that she will need to be finding a job he gets all lecture-y on her. Yesterday when he left for work he said, "Yes! I'm edging today which means I'm in charge." Whatever makes you feel important son.
The boy has also become pretty tight. He will spend money on certain things but things like haircuts are somewhat of a luxury item. The other night he asked his 15 year old sister to cut his hair because he didn't want to spend the $20 on a haircut. (He likes to go to SportsCuts or SportsClips or whatever it's called.) They came in to show it to me and I said, "Well, it looks like you're gonna have to spend the money anyhow." It was pretty bad.
Needless to say, I don't think we'll have to worry about the boy working or having a good work ethic any time in the near future. Which is good because I've told them all that they are not coming back home to live with me. Once they're gone, they're gone.