My parents did a pretty fair job of raising me to expect to pay my way in life. I never wanted for anything, but they made sure I understood that if I did indeed want something, I needed to work and pay for it. They bought my first car (I'll never forget the lesson of watching my father deal with the salesman, getting what he wanted for the price he wanted), but I paid them back for it in small installments over the course of two or three summers. I suppose I thought it unfair at the time, but I'm so glad they were that way now.
And then we have Hannah. She's spoiled, and yes, it's our fault. She can keep a handle on her spending when it's her money, and she doesn't necessarily overspend when we give her money. But the child really doesn't get the whole the car thing. We've told her all spring and summer that if she's planning on driving, she's going to have to be responsible for her own insurance and gas money, and that means getting a job. So far, she's spent a good deal of time sitting on the couch waiting for the windfall to drop.
When I look around and see how many of her friends are simply given cars, I suppose I can understand where she gets her idea that one is going to magically show up. I was really hoping that she'd come to understand that no one is going to hand her anything; she's got to have responsibility for herself. Apparently I was speaking to her while the iPod was inserted because it hadn't really sunk in...until her Sunday School teacher spent an hour with her yesterday working on her first "adult" budget. She left the class exclaiming that she had no idea what things cost and how much of her income would be on the outgo. We might have spent most of her life trying to impress this upon her but it took an outsider with the voice of reason to break through. I could do nothing other than shake his hand, and swipe the poster paper of the budget, which I intend to hang in her room at some point. The Real World's got to come knocking at some point, and she needs to keep that in mind on a regular basis.