incentive for my idle child

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2003
incentive for my idle child
Fri, 06-20-2003 - 9:35am
My 14 yo DD is approaching her third summer of almost complete idleness.

Idle meaning she'll go to the mall or the pool once or twice a week or I'll take her to the shore a couple of times over the summer or we'll go on a family vacation but the rest of the time she is reading or watching tv or listening to music which is actually the majority of her day and week.

I am so bothered by this that I told her that I would get her a cellphone for her birthday if she got herself involved in something.

She didn't go for the initial idea.

I don't want her involved in a 40 hour work week, I only want her to do something constructive a few hours a week over a couple of days per week for maybe half the summer or so. Not even every week.

I'm ready to change her incentives and tell her the phone won't even be a birthday gift but that she'll get it if she finishes 4-6 weeks of constructive stuff.

Now, since my dh and I both work full time, she stays at my mothers.

She'd rather stay home alone. I'm ready to also tell her she can stay home alone on the days that she is volunteering at something as another added incentive.

I am going to call the local kennels and the stables and see if they need volunteers a few hours a week.

I didn't say anything yet to her though. I'm anticipating a confrontation.

How can I incent her to get her butt into gear? Am I going overboard?

Any advice? I can't stand that she is idle like this.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-20-2003
Fri, 06-20-2003 - 1:54pm
Question first, what did you do during the summer when you were 14?
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2003
Fri, 06-20-2003 - 3:36pm
I thought I posted a reply, but I guess it didn't work.

Anyway, I was in sleepaway camp for a few weeks and I was tutoring summer school kids for all high school.

But, that's neither here nor there... because that was me, not her.

Your email was a wake up call.

I'm not going to require her to do anything - she is a great kid.

I will encourage her to volunteer just to keep busy, but I'm not going to make it conditional on anything.

Thanks for the eye opener.

And, I may still get her the cellphone for her birthday just because she is a great kid and deserves it.

I am much calmer now - you know how I can tell when I've made the right decision?

My knotty stomach is no longer knotty...

Thank you!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-20-2003
Fri, 06-20-2003 - 4:14pm
LOL - well, I'm glad I could help! ;-)
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-28-2003
Sat, 06-28-2003 - 1:46am
what is your child looking to do for a career? when i was contemplating something in the medical profession, my mom signed me up to be a candystriper at the local hospital (many nursing homes also have programs like this). aside from the dreadful uniforms, it was a rewarding experience. i was able to get to know a lot of older people in my community and thoroughly enjoyed their stories. i also decided i didn't want to make my career in medicine, the whole perma-antiseptic smell wasn't for me. my parents were very relieved that i discovered this in high school and not once i was halfway through college!