Please don’t wear that…
I have a daughter going into her sophomore year of high school. She had a great summer, and after surviving the terrible years of middle school, it is wonderful to see her with a group of fun and creative friends, lots of ambition, and a nice part-time job.
Running past the door
At 7 am dashing out the door to get her ride to school she breezed by me wearing a miniskirt…actually, I would define it as a micro miniskirt.
“Are you wearing that?”
What worse question could I ask? What could I say that would make her more determined that she was wearing an entirely appropriate school uniform?
“I like it, and I bought it with my own money…”
Her factual statement threw me for a loop. There are a lot of parents that would have sent her back upstairs with a “I don’t care,” but she did spend her hard-earned dollars on that skirt. She was doing what I told her she could do if she earned money to buy the things she wanted – she did get a job so she could make some of her own decisions.
What to do?
Earning money is an important milestone for growing into an adult. Money gives autonomy, security, and mobility. It gives you freedom to choose what to buy and how to invest. The skirt was not something I would purchase for her, but should I discard her spending choice?
“Are you wearing shorts under that?” I asked. “Of course, I am, mom,” she said in an annoyed tone and showed me one of the legs of her shorts. “Oh, okay,” I said. In my mind I thought maybe the school will crackdown on the dress code, but, hey, at least she’s wearing shorts.
Parents and children
In financial planning parents, like myself, want to help kids make good decisions, but also, sometimes I think they need to make their own decisions. I learned that I might need to step back because our choices will be different, and it’s an important milestone in growth…for both of us.
Lost in the wash
Another milestone moving into adulthood is doing your own laundry. My daughter hasn’t gotten there yet. It's well documented that I have a heavy hand with the bleach. Of course, I am only kidding.