Sunday, May 5, 2013

Workin' for a'livin...

Over the past year we have been talking about, debating, discussing this question,  " How do we instill the value of work and a dollar into our children, (they actually WANT to work) when they are not allowed to secure paying jobs here in Ecuador?"

Last year our boys wanted to build a fort (which is now completed - see previous post). This, of course, cost money and in order for them to appreciate how much money we told them they would need to work for it.  OK- now to come up with paying jobs.  Hmmmmmm........  Our kids do not receive an allowance per se but in the states if they wanted to buy something non essential we found extra tasks to pay them for OR they asked relatives or neighbors for paying jobs. Here that task is much harder.  No relatives to hand out jobs and the neighbors are either fellow missionaries or lower income locals. The amount of upkeep on our rental house is less than our house in the states required, plus a local worker is hired to take care of the lawn so even the number of "made up jobs" has decreased considerably.

Well- the boys were pretty determined and focused, so they asked several other missionaries for jobs and were given a few, mostly washing and vacuuming out cars. This earned a small amount and they bought enough wood to put in the floor. We as a family came up with a couple more jobs that earned them enough to buy the nails and spikes- then they decided after scouring for work and not finding anymore that they would write a blog about their "dream fort".  That blog secured the remainder needed to complete the roof.  Their goal was accomplished-after cutting and dragging bamboo a 1/2 mile for the posts! No cost for that!

Great experience for them, however now they have other, bigger goals - like eventually buying a car or saving for college.  How does one tackle that?  Eons ago when "we", the parents were 13, 14, 15 years old, we picked blueberries, babysat and ran little businesses so that money could be saved, bank accounts opened and expenses related to owning a car or college paid with our own hard earned cash. That was a different era AND our home country where we were legally allowed to work.  So the question still remains.......... for long term savings/goals and steady income for teenagers, what to do?

We are open to input!  :)


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