I don’t think that I’ve done anything especially amazing with my kids, we’ve been pretty satisfied with mediocrity. I’m not trying to create Nobel Prize winners. I do expect my children to be caring and compassionate and to be concerned about all people not just the people that look like them or live in their community. I also never wanted my kids to act like they had a sense of entitlement to material goods. Happiness most definitely, respect as long as they’re also showing respect. But material items are not something they are entitled to.
When Daniel first got his license my parents had a very used car that they no longer needed and that didn’t have enough value to make it worth a trade in. They wanted to give it to Daniel. I had an objection with that, not with him having a car to use. That actually was quite helpful and much appreciated. But him actually being given a car was not ok. So the car was given to me (since I am the one paying for the licensing, insurance and maintenance but not gas, that is the responsibility of the person driving the car.) and I at my discretion let Daniel use it. There weren’t strings attached to the car; with the exception of the time he received 2 tickets very close together and when the thank you cards for his graduation party were not being completed in a timely manner. It wasn’t about me dangling the car in front of him requiring perfect grades it was more about the idea that at 17 he is not entitled to be given a car.
So when my kids score just OK scores on their ACT’s I understand that I didn’t push them to be perfect, when they are satisfied applying to just a few colleges and not interested in applying to any Ivy league school, I just let it go. But every now and then they say something that makes me think, yes I really did do something right.
Daniel was lamenting how annoying it is that college students complain about having to work while in college. While I never wanted him to have to work much while in school I did expect that he would have to cover his own spending money. This year he needed to add an on-campus work study job at a library M-F, while he is still working at COSI on Saturdays and Wed evenings. So he is working A LOT in my opinion but he really likes his jobs and he seems to be managing his time well. I’m very happy that he has a good work ethic and that he finds enjoyment in his jobs. I am proud of him for supplementing his COSI job with the work study job when he knew COSI would not cover his living expenses.
I was also very happy when he complained about all the college kids that only want to get drunk on the weekends. He did more than his share of partying last year and I was worried that was going to be a regular part of his college years. So it was very reassuring when he complained about his friends and said that while he does like to occasionally get drunk he also likes to do other things. See I don’t expect perfection from my kids.