onr “I feel important.” That was my younger daughter’s surprising answer to a mundane question. I had been wondering why she liked her job as a hostess at a busy restaurant so much, especially since it was her first “real” job as a teenager beyond watching kids or walking dogs. Frankly, I had expected the job would not appeal to her. I was wrong. But shortly after she announced this surge of self-esteem, I remembered my own first real job as a teenager beyond mowing lawns or shoveling snow. My employment history began one summer at a grocery store in my hometown where I bagged … [Read more...]
We’re standing in a house somewhere in Minnesota. It has two more bedrooms than our condo in the Chicago area. It has an extra bathroom (and a half), a yard with a built-in barbecue, basketball hoop, two-car garage and property taxes so laughably low that it’s hard to believe this all comes for about the same price as where we live now. My third- and first-graders are running around claiming bedrooms for themselves and, for a brief second, it’s hard to think of any of the reasons keeping us where we are in suburban Illinois. A casual curiosity to see what we could get on budget during a … [Read more...]
At any given moment, my son is speaking. He is standing near my desk, riding in the car, or running a trail beside me, the conversation free and flowing. The topic may be anything: the play-by-play of some random video game or a string of vignettes from his school day tied together by lazy shrugs and honest humor. His delivery is generally thoughtful and deliberate, on point, and with frequent stops for laughter. He is intelligent, funny, kind, and perceptive. His sarcasm game is next level stuff. I could listen to him for hours, and oftentimes I do. In fact, I pay him for it. Note, the … [Read more...]
We parents are always telling our kids about the importance of money, but are we really talking to them about it? Don't fret. One of our nation's leading authorities on personal finance for young people, Beth Kobliner, appears on the new Modern Dads Podcast to help teach moms and dads how to discuss savings, earnings and more with their children. Kobliner has recently published Make Your Child a Money Genius (Even If You’re Not), a jargon-free, step-by-step guide to help parents of all income levels teach their kids about money. She talks up the highlights of her latest tome while … [Read more...]
Had I just used the profit motive for a less-than-fully ethical purpose? If I had a son, would I have gone to such lengths to justify the charity part of his sale?
+ + +“Can we have a lemonade stand?” As parent, you have probably heard this summery question at one time or another. As a stay-at-home dad, I often helped my two daughters with their many stands during their younger years. To teach them about charity, however, I would insist that 50 percent of the profits go to our local food bank. They enjoyed making a little money, and I enjoyed their … [Read more...]