Sally on her first pony ride this weekend
Summer in Utah is here to stay. And with the increasing temperatures outside, our AC has been giving us some trouble. And also another reason to shout “hallelujah” that we’re still renting. So last week, an AC repair guy arrived at our door with some tools and a cheerful demeanor. His name was Edward, and he spoke with a thick Spanish accent. After he finished his work, he and I got to talking for a few minutes. He told me that he had three kids, ages 18, 20, and 22.
I said, “So you and your wife have the house to yourselves again!”
He replied proudly, “Actually, no, all of my kids live with us. They are in college.”
And, being the clueless born-and-bred American that I am, I said, “Oh! How nice that they can get free rent while they’re in school!”
But he corrected me yet again saying, “Well, recently, they said, ‘Dad, we think the rent should be split from here on out. We want to pay our share.’ They said this on their own! I said nothing to them. And sometimes I do not have enough money to pay the bills for the apartment we all live in, and so they help to pay those, too.”
After I picked my jaw up from the ground, I said, “It sounds like you’ve got very hard-working kids.”
And he said, “Yes, I do!” with another proud smile.
Edward’s children are not like the majority of young adults I know in this country. Our culture is an entitled one. Teenagers expect a car when they turn 16, free rent indefinitely from their parents, free health insurance until they’re 26, schooling that’s paid for, etc., etc. Not all of it’s a bad thing. Johnny and I are planning on helping our own children with their schooling costs. And if they want to live with us while they’re in college, we’d never expect rent from them. But how many young adults would go so far as to offering to split the rent with their parents, or offering to help pay their bills? It’s just unheard of in our country.
Hearing Edward’s story was a good reminder of the kind of work ethic I’d like to instill in my own kids. Rather than “Poor me! My parents aren’t helping me with school!” they say, “Dad, we’d like to split the rent!” He also showed me how subjective it is to live a rich life. I haven’t encountered a happier man since moving to the state of Utah.
How do we cultivate that hardworking attitude in our kids, while also helping them out where we can? What do you plan to do?