Hello! I’ve been out of town, visiting my mom for the past week while my husband was traveling for work. I had a relaxing week, with no dishes to wash or meals to cook. I tried to feel guilty about it, but couldn’t muster any. Since I had no looming responsibilities last week, I had ample time to get caught up on reading my magazines! Hence the inspiration for my blog post topic today, what do you say when your kid asks,
“Why do you have to work?”.
I came across an article in Parents magazine about answering tough questions your kids throw at you. There was some really good, sound advice in there, I thought. But one piece in particular rubbed me the wrong way. When your child asks, “Why do you have to work?”, what do you say? The article stated that your child doesn’t ask the question because she genuinely wonders why you work, she asks the question because she wishes you could stay with her.
The answer you should give your child, so says a child development and behavior specialist, was that you enjoy your work, as well as the people you work with. Don’t tell your child you have to work in order to pay for food. That implies work is not something one can enjoy!
Um, hellooo? There’s a reason it’s called work! Some people are fortunate enough to love what they do. Others are not. But regardless of whether or not you enjoy your job, everyone needs a source of income to survive. Making your kid think work should always be fun is the perfect way to raise a kid who can’t hold a job when they grow up. They will quit as soon as they grow bored and move back into your house- now really, isn’t that the exact opposite of what we all want?? 😉
Plus, let’s talk about this- To defend the reason you work, why would you tell your kid you enjoy the people with whom you work? As true as that possibly may be, I believe that sends the message that you prefer your co-workers’ company over theirs. Even as an adult, I can see feeling second-rate if my husband told me he went to work because he enjoys the people he works with. I’d start asking why he married me if he preferred other people’s company to mine!
The answer to this question in Parents Magazine left me wondering if the child behavior and development specialist quoted had any children herself. Or how she would have felt if her mother had said those things to her.
I think it’s good to teach children about money and being responsible from an early age. I tell my girls that Daddy works hard to buy us food to eat, so we shouldn’t waste it. And he works hard to buy us things we like, so we should take care of our toys and other possessions. And my husband tells the girls at least weekly, that he has to work to make money to buy us things we need, but he wishes he could stay home and spend time with us all day. And we all feel loved as a result. 🙂
Tell me, what do you think? Do you think “Parents Magazine” missed the mark on this one?