‘What are you gonna do to earn money for it?’ Mama and Daddy don’t do handouts.’: Mom says ‘working for things gives greater appreciation’

“At 13 years old, the last thing a girl wants to do is go to work with her dad!

For many years, my dad owned his own wallpaper business and would make my sisters and I take turns going to work with him on Saturdays and during the summertime.

I remember thinking I would never ever use these skills he was teaching me. Like never ever! Having to wake up early on a Saturday was not cool!

He taught me how to hang wallpaper, border, and patch holes in walls. He even showed me how to cover light switches with wallpaper so the switch disappeared into the wallpaper.

Again, all things I swore I would never ever have to do as an adult. Actually, all things I swore I would never ever do because I would pay someone else to do it for me.
So, here I am all these years later… hanging wallpaper in my house and doing all the things I swore I would never ever do.

I have patched 10 plus holes in the walls. I have painted these bookshelves. I’ve hung light fixtures and replaced receptacles. I’ve torn things out and replaced things. I’ve painted half of my house already.

And my mom, don’t think she’s going to get away without me talking about her too. She would make me do yard work! Yard work! Such a mean mom.

Now I do my own yardwork and have even had people stop me while doing it to tell me what a great job I’m doing (and also ask why a girl is doing it) and ask me if I would come work for their lawn service company. Thanks, but no!

My parents didn’t hand me anything. They made me work for things, which is why to this day, I have a great appreciation for everything Ryan and I have worked for and created together. Because nothing has been handed to us. We have worked our little bums off.

I’ve never been one to shy away from some good ole work! I believe humans were created to work, whatever that looks like to you, be it in the home, outside the home, part-time, or full-time.

When the kids come to my husband and I and ask us to buy them things and we say, ‘What are you gonna do to earn money for it?’

I mean sure, we buy them things but not everything! And we tend to be more 50% parents. We will pay half and you have to pay for the other half. Mama and Daddy don’t do handouts.

Because if there is one thing my parents taught me, it’s that having to work for things gives a greater appreciation for the thing.

Never shy away from making your kids do WORK. Yes, they might hate it but one day, they will appreciate that you made them work. As I type this, my son is outside earning money by cleaning out part of the garage and cleaning up the flower beds. Guess he wants that video game pretty bad!

There are so many skills I have now that I would have missed out on had my dad not made me go to work with him. So many skills, like cutting my boys’ hair, doing my nails, sewing, photography, and writing. I’m not saying I’m the best at those things but definitely get compliments. I have developed these over the years because I grew up watching my parents figure things out they didn’t know how to do and that gave me the confidence that I too could figure things out I wanted to learn how to do.

There is a certain level of pride and confidence that comes with being able to do things on your own! Don’t steal that from your kids by handing them everything or doing everything for them.

Now is such a great time to teach our children new skills and allow them to earn money through good ole work.”

Courtesy Tracey Ferrin

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Tracey Ferrin, 36, of Houston, Texas. Tracey’s new book “Up Struggle” is available now here. Follow her journey on Instagram here and Facebook here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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