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Old Today, 11:18 AM
 
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I'm a new stepparent to a 16year old boy. He believes we have unlimited money and tries to take advantage of us b/c of it … but I don't know if he is purposely taking advantage or does he really not understand that money doesn't just appear out of the sky & that we have to work hard to earn it?


My husband took him shopping over the weekend to get stuff for school for him and ended up spending $400. My stepson claimed these were all things he "needed" so whatever my husband ponied up. After the shopping trip, we got some cashback to use @ a later date b/c we spent so much (like a Kohl's Cash concept). My stepson was aware how much my husband spent yet when we got the cashback insisted on using it to buy more stuff. He didn't even ask my husband if he could have it, he just assumed he could.


My husband said he needed to ask & not just assume he could have it … b/c he works hard for the $$ & he already spent $400.


I feel @ 16 one should know enough is enough and that when your parent spends that kind off $ on you, be grateful and don't insist on getting more. I'm not sure if @ 16 does he just not realize that he or is he purposely playing games and trying to see how much he can get?


When do kids/teens start to become of aware of prices and know when it's time to lay low and not ask for more?
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Old Today, 11:28 AM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
44,250 posts, read 42,757,083 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdawg8181 View Post
I'm a new stepparent to a 16year old boy. He believes we have unlimited money and tries to take advantage of us b/c of it … but I don't know if he is purposely taking advantage or does he really not understand that money doesn't just appear out of the sky & that we have to work hard to earn it?


My husband took him shopping over the weekend to get stuff for school for him and ended up spending $400. My stepson claimed these were all things he "needed" so whatever my husband ponied up. After the shopping trip, we got some cashback to use @ a later date b/c we spent so much (like a Kohl's Cash concept). My stepson was aware how much my husband spent yet when we got the cashback insisted on using it to buy more stuff. He didn't even ask my husband if he could have it, he just assumed he could.


My husband said he needed to ask & not just assume he could have it … b/c he works hard for the $$ & he already spent $400.


I feel @ 16 one should know enough is enough and that when your parent spends that kind off $ on you, be grateful and don't insist on getting more. I'm not sure if @ 16 does he just not realize that he or is he purposely playing games and trying to see how much he can get?


When do kids/teens start to become of aware of prices and know when it's time to lay low and not ask for more?
In my experience, it's when they get a part-time job and start earning their own. He's old enough and needs to be working, but you've noted before that his dad spoils him so that probably won't happen.

I thought Kohls cash could only be used at a later date?
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Old Today, 11:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BirdieBelle View Post
In my experience, it's when they get a part-time job and start earning their own. He's old enough and needs to be working, but you've noted before that his dad spoils him so that probably won't happen.

I thought Kohls cash could only be used at a later date?
Yes it's a later date. My stepson wants it for the dates its valid.


My husband is trying to have him get a job. He has started to look around the neighborhood.
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Old Today, 11:55 AM
 
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This reminds me of a story when my husband and I took my young niece and nephew (about 7 and 8 at the time) to a theme park. They were asking us to buy them things "constantly" until we gave them each $10 and told them that was all they were going to get for the rest of the visit, so it was up to them to spend it wisely. It was amazing how quickly they turned into somewhat miserly money managers!
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Old Today, 12:00 PM
 
Location: Denver CO
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This is more about your husband than your stepson. A child learns what they are taught. My son is 15 and is very careful about money - probably a little more than I am but I've taught him to compare prices and that the biggest package isn't necessarily the least expensive, you have to look at the price per item or by ounce or whatever. I've taught him to look for quality and well made things, and that spending more up front could be less expensive in the long run. When he goes to the grocery store, we both mentally track what we are buying and then guess at the end what the total will be, and we are about even on terms of who guesses closest. Not exactly the same but I've also taught him that if the cashier gives you too much change or misses charging for an item, you point that out because it's the right thing to do, you don't start getting gleeful that you might get away with something.

None of this stuff just happens, it's all part of parenting. If you stepson is lacking on this knowledge, he's not the one dropped the ball as a parent.
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Old Today, 12:08 PM
 
9,784 posts, read 13,639,572 times
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Originally Posted by emm74 View Post
This is more about your husband than your stepson. A child learns what they are taught. My son is 15 and is very careful about money - probably a little more than I am but I've taught him to compare prices and that the biggest package isn't necessarily the least expensive, you have to look at the price per item or by ounce or whatever. I've taught him to look for quality and well made things, and that spending more up front could be less expensive in the long run. When he goes to the grocery store, we both mentally track what we are buying and then guess at the end what the total will be, and we are about even on terms of who guesses closest. Not exactly the same but I've also taught him that if the cashier gives you too much change or misses charging for an item, you point that out because it's the right thing to do, you don't start getting gleeful that you might get away with something.

None of this stuff just happens, it's all part of parenting. If you stepson is lacking on this knowledge, he's not the one dropped the ball as a parent.
Yes I know its a parents job to teach these things. We just got the kid full-time this past winter so before then he was with his mom full-time in another state and I don't think she ever taught him about $$ really or he just got away with getting whatever he wanted. My husband does set boundaries.
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Old Today, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
17,446 posts, read 17,734,106 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdawg8181 View Post
I'm a new stepparent to a 16year old boy. He believes we have unlimited money and tries to take advantage of us b/c of it … but I don't know if he is purposely taking advantage or does he really not understand that money doesn't just appear out of the sky & that we have to work hard to earn it?


My husband took him shopping over the weekend to get stuff for school for him and ended up spending $400. My stepson claimed these were all things he "needed" so whatever my husband ponied up. After the shopping trip, we got some cashback to use @ a later date b/c we spent so much (like a Kohl's Cash concept). My stepson was aware how much my husband spent yet when we got the cashback insisted on using it to buy more stuff. He didn't even ask my husband if he could have it, he just assumed he could.


My husband said he needed to ask & not just assume he could have it … b/c he works hard for the $$ & he already spent $400.


I feel @ 16 one should know enough is enough and that when your parent spends that kind off $ on you, be grateful and don't insist on getting more. I'm not sure if @ 16 does he just not realize that he or is he purposely playing games and trying to see how much he can get?


When do kids/teens start to become of aware of prices and know when it's time to lay low and not ask for more?
IMHO, a lot depends on how a child is raised. Even with a preschool or a kindergartener, a parents will tell their child, "Now, you can not have a candy bar, you can have a snack when we get home" at a grocery store. Or for an elementary age child "You can select one toy costing less than $10" at a toy store or "We can only buy one sweater. Out of these three, which one do you like the best?"

By the time that they are teens, most children are really starting to realize that not everyone has the same amount of money. Some of their friends live in big houses and others live in tiny apartments. Some take the bus everyplace and others have new cars.

But, teens really start to learn about the value of money when they get their first part time job. At 16 my daughter used to calculate all purchases into how many hours that she would need to work to pay for something. Like, "I would need to work for four hours to buy that top! No, it is not worth it." or "I would have to work an hour to pay for that fancy coffee." And, sometimes she would say "Yes, it is worth it" or "Nope, not today. I'll save this money for something else later".

Regarding when a teen learns to be grateful for things that the parent buys, IMHO, some never learn that and some learn it at an early age. My sons first word (after "Mama" and "Dada") was "tank", which meant "Thank you" and he used it in appropriate situations when he was less than a year old.

As parents, we often told our children things like "No, we can't afford a trip to the beaches of California, but we can plan a trip to Minneapolis to see the Children's Museum and Science Museum." "No, we can't go out for a pizza tonight, but if we plan for it we can go out for pizza next month". And, when they were older "No, we can not afford to buy you a car. But, you can use Mom's car or Dad's car if you ask in advance and we aren't using it at the same time."

BTW, my son never had his own car in high school, college, or graduate school, or as a Post-Doc fellow (working after his Ph.D). Heck, he is 36 years old and still doesn't have his own car, but normally bikes every place, or uses public transportation, or drives the car that he shares with his wife (if they are going out of town). She also normally bikes to work and on errands, as well.

Last edited by germaine2626; Today at 12:20 PM..
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Old Today, 12:16 PM
 
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When do they really learn? When they have to earn it themselves and pay for their want/need themselves.

Even then....many in society never learn.

Last edited by CentralUSHomeowner; Today at 01:12 PM..
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Old Today, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Denver CO
21,472 posts, read 12,108,695 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdawg8181 View Post
Yes I know its a parents job to teach these things. We just got the kid full-time this past winter so before then he was with his mom full-time in another state and I don't think she ever taught him about $$ really or he just got away with getting whatever he wanted. My husband does set boundaries.
He may need to be clearer with them - both for himself and with his son. He can set a specific dollar amount and say "you've got $300 to spend at Kohl's and that's it. If you want something more than that, you will have to spend your own money on it." (I'm assuming the kid has some money of his own from allowance, birthday gifts, etc).

And honestly for something like the Kohl's cash, I would let him use it if it was all from money that was allocated to him in the first place. But still, that's something his dad should be clear about from the start. If his mother was not teaching him this and he's used to no guidance, it can be tough to start with, and your husband may have to overcorrect a bit and land on the stricter side. He can always ease up over time, but he's got to be very clear about the boundaries and very firm on them for now. Assuming they are reasonable in the first place, of course, but $400 on a teen's back to school wardrobe is pretty reasonable, unfortunately, as I'm assuming he's wearing men's clothing now. It was quite the sticker shock when my son started to move out of kids sizes for clothes and shoes!

also adding that maybe you or your husband can try to get the kid to check out thrift shops and resale stores? My son wouldn't but he hates clothes shopping so I order pretty much all his stuff online just to get it over and done with. But I know lots of teens who are much more style conscious and love to be able to stretch their clothing money with the brands they like but gently used and they get so much more for the same amount of money.
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Old Today, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
17,446 posts, read 17,734,106 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emm74 View Post
He may need to be clearer with them - both for himself and with his son. He can set a specific dollar amount and say "you've got $300 to spend at Kohl's and that's it. If you want something more than that, you will have to spend your own money on it." (I'm assuming the kid has some money of his own from allowance, birthday gifts, etc).

And honestly for something like the Kohl's cash, I would let him use it if it was all from money that was allocated to him in the first place. But still, that's something his dad should be clear about from the start.

If his mother was not teaching him this and he's used to no guidance, it can be tough to start with, and your husband may have to overcorrect a bit and land on the stricter side. He can always ease up over time, but he's got to be very clear about the boundaries and very firm on them for now.
Assuming they are reasonable in the first place, of course, but $400 on a teen's back to school wardrobe is pretty reasonable, unfortunately, as I'm assuming he's wearing men's clothing now. It was quite the sticker shock when my son started to move out of kids sizes for clothes and shoes!

also adding that maybe you or your husband can try to get the kid to check out thrift shops and resale stores? My son wouldn't but he hates clothes shopping so I order pretty much all his stuff online just to get it over and done with. But I know lots of teens who are much more style conscious and love to be able to stretch their clothing money with the brands they like but gently used and they get so much more for the same amount of money.

" If his mother was not teaching him this and he's used to no guidance, it can be tough to start with, and your husband may have to overcorrect a bit and land on the stricter side. He can always ease up over time, but he's got to be very clear about the boundaries and very firm on them for now. " Excellent points, emm74.

When my kids were in HS & college, getting bargains at thrift stores was very popular among their friends. And, it really stretched their clothing budgets. Heck, they still check out thrift shops and they are in their 30s.
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