My wife and I are not on the same page when it comes to money and our two teenage daughters. I think they should be learning the value of work and money, but she doesn’t want them to work. She regularly hands them spending money and buys them expensive gifts. I want our girls to have some nice things, but this is starting to cause problems in our relationship. Do you have any advice?
Kids should learn to work and make money at an early age. We’ve given nice gifts to our kids, but the difference is they also worked and made money for themselves. The gifts we gave them were for special occasions. Showering our kids with money and expensive toys all the time was not our way of life.
In this situation, your wife is allowing them to be nothing but consumers. I know she loves them, but they’re not learning how to work, and they’re not learning how to save or give. This is setting them up for a lifetime of unrealistic expectations. If something doesn’t happen to change things, you’re going to end up with two spoiled little girls, who think they should be given everything their entire lives.
Still, I think the biggest problem is you and your wife are experiencing a communication and marital breakdown. If the kids weren’t in the picture, I’ve got a feeling the same problems would exist. The difference is they would manifest themselves in other ways.
Obviously, your wife needs to stop being so impulsive where the kids are concerned. Try sitting down with her, and gently explaining your feelings. Let your wife know you love her and how generous she is, but you’re worried this is having a negative impact on your children. Maybe you could try to establish some guidelines as to when really nice gifts are appropriate, too. There’s a middle ground you can reach, but it’s going to take some time and effort. Most of all, it means the two of you are going to have to communicate and work together for the good of your kids.