a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Our Kids and REAL Employment

Yesterday I addressed our kids, their chores, allowances, and jobs. And promised to continue today with their progression to official employment.

When Romm was not quite 16, a good-sounding position at an office supply store appeared in the newspaper one Saturday. It required a dependable 16-year-old who had a driver's license. Bright and early Monday morning, before school and before the business opened, he slid a letter he had written under the company's door.

In the letter he wrote a little about himself and his qualifications, and that he would be in at 3 p.m. to talk with them.

He arrived promptly at 3 p.m. Once there in person, he told them that he would not be 16 for three more weeks, but that he would be willing to work for them for free until that time.  Was he given the position?
Yes, and was also paid for those three weeks.

They had him go on deliveries with them and the very day he got his driver's license they let him start making the deliveries. (Were they brave or naive?)

He worked there all through high school and then summers when he was home from college.

Passing the buck --- literally!
The time spent with our children in helping them learn to work paid off in another way also---they had already learned how to work when they went to work officially at 16. And, because they were good workers, they were able to recommend their younger siblings as replacements when they moved on to something else.

  • The paper routes were handed down, as were the lawn jobs.
  • Heidi worked in a theater and video game complex. Josh was hired and later Jeremy was hired.
  • Jeremy cleaned an office building on weekends. When he went to college, Luke took over.
  • Luke taught sailing at a local lake. When he went on a mission, Jeremy was back from his and replaced him for the summer.
  • Brin and I even passed on jobs as the library. 
An added bonus was many of the places of employment let members of the worker's family use the facilities for free. 
  • We went to the movies and played video games! 
  • Left our two small sail boats (12 foot "butterflies") rigged and ready to sail at any time! 
  • Had extra coupons from the newspapers! 
  • Didn't have to pay fines on late books! 
  • Used the swimming pool, racquetball and volleyball courts at the fitness center. (from yesterday's post)
This final section tells of things we did before the time of the real employment --- but it fits better here!

But all work and no play --- No way!

Because our budget was limited we often played at the park, took walks, camped and swam. We attended free outdoor concerts and activities. Movies, zoos, museums and other commercial attractions were visited during free or reduced-rate times. Two-for-one coupons were used whenever possible. We packed our own lunch and usually provided our own snacks.

One of the most creative times was when we, after collecting a variety of coupons, let each one choose the coupon for what they wanted to eat, and after driving to each fast food place, we all went to the park for our picnic.

Another time, while traveling on vacation, we gave each one a couple of dollars (remember, this was a long time ago), stopped at a large grocery store and each bought their own meal (and back then, grocery stores didn't have take-out food. It was fun to see the wide variety of choices.

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