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The Trouble with Today’s Youth Is that They Aren’t Needed!

Levine Breaking News reports: “A middle-income American family with a child born in 2008 can expect to spend about $221,190 ($291,570 when adjusted for inflation) for food, shelter, and other necessities to raise that child over the next seventeen years. In 1960, a middle-income family could have expected to spend $25,230 ($183,509 in 2008 dollars) to raise a child through age seventeen.”

I remember a New Yorker cartoon that had a father with his hand on a graduate’s shoulder and saying, “Son, you are now 21, you owe me $243,000.” Sounds like that is not far off.

I also remember a family of 8 boys, whose father called a family meeting and told the boys that his mother and he were tired of being slaves to the home. With all the boys out working to get spending money, they weren’t there to do chores at home. He told them that 25% of what they made would go to the home. They complained loudly, but he told them that if they could get a better deal anywhere else to live there.

They had not takers. They put the money collected in a fund to help pay for their college. When one boy took it out, he would have to pay it back when completed so the other boys could benefit. This plan also gave the boys motivation to leave–they wanted their 25%.

All are now highly paid professionals and dad just tries to get one to come home to live. With 25% of what they make, he says that he could retire.

This reminds me of a farmer who once told me, “The trouble with kids today is that they are not needed. On a farm, are all needed. You work your chores and help any way you can from age three. Today, kids are in the way, and we have to take care of them. When you are needed, kids earn the confidence they need to succeed.”

That is so true. Kids don’t appreciate what they have until they earn it. Care enough to make kids matter and to hold them accountable for doing their part in the home and in the community. Let them earn their character and confidence.

To learn more about earning confidence and personal responsibility, read my newest book, The Optimism Advantage: 50 Simple Truths to Transform Your Attitudes and Actions into Results. You can order now or buy it at your favorite bookstore after March 22nd!

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