Work vs Allowance

It’s healthier to work and be a part of creating the world than just receive stuff for free.

So, I hired my teenage son.

Yes, it’s working out.

True, he doesn’t live primarily at my house.  He lives with his dad. So that creates a bit of separation, re: roles and schedules and the layered entanglements that come with living with someone.

I hired him on a tiered pay schedule – working “as an adult” is one pay level, “like a teenager” is another, and “not working” is not time I pay for. His pay is graduated on a sliding scale between these levels depending on his actual production, general work ethic, focus and communication skills.

I decide, as his boss while he’s doing paid work, which level he’s being paid for during any segment of time, and we have open communication where I let him know how I arrived at those figures.  Yes I am merciless, but I first and primarily emphasize telling him what he did well at, and thank him for the work he did.

The first day went really well.  The second not so much. Since then it’s been smoothing out pretty dramatically, getting more predictable and even keel for both of us each day we work together. More getting done, less supervision needed, shorter sweeter end/pay conversations.

A big big benefit:  no guilt, no manipulation.   Now nor in future when we get older. He doesn’t need to ask me for funds for things he needs, I don’t “should” him with pro bono obligations for things I need help taking care of.



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