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2006-09-15 1:12 PM

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Master
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A Prairie Home
Subject: Questions for BT parents
Here's the story:
A 7 year-old child (with single parent) asks "why does mommy cannot stay home with me?" The maid answer "because mommy has to work and to make money. You see people sleeping on the street? Mommy has to make money so that you don't have to sleep on the street." Child then quietly nodded.

The answer effectively stopped the child from asking further questions. But somehow I don't think it's an appropriate answer. What if the child came back and say "then I'd rather sleep on the street and be with mommy?"

Anyhoo, just curious, what would you say to your child if he/she ask "why does mommy/daddy cannot stay home all the time"?







2006-09-15 1:15 PM
in reply to: #542703

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Giver
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Subject: RE: Questions for BT parents
I would just say because mommy/daddy has a job. I like to put it in the same context as school...Nola goes to school, we go to work.
2006-09-15 1:20 PM
in reply to: #542703

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Pro
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Orange Park Florida
Subject: RE: Questions for BT parents

I pretty much say the sme thing as Jim. 

Mommy and Daddy go to work to earn money to pay the bills so we can eat and live in a house and you can watch tv and bla bla bla bla bla bla and grow up to be a Conservative Republican just like Jim. 

2006-09-15 1:37 PM
in reply to: #542703

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Champion
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Fairport, NY
Subject: RE: Questions for BT parents

In addition to making money for survival/creature comforts, we tell our girls that we work to do our part in the world, that we have an obligation to contribute in a constructive manner to the world around us.

They're young, so they get the "helping people" viewpoint easier than the economic viewpoint.

2006-09-15 1:42 PM
in reply to: #542703

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Master
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Tampa, Fl
Subject: RE: Questions for BT parents

Our son understands that we have to go to work so his grandparents (free child care) have more time to spoil him.

2006-09-15 1:48 PM
in reply to: #542703

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Philadelphia, south of New York and north of DC
Subject: RE: Questions for BT parents

Denise2003 - A 7 year-old child (with single parent) asks "why does mommy cannot stay home with me?"

Umm...

Because the culture is a bit loopy. It values what a mommy produces more than her role as the primary nurturer and educator of her child...

(maybe best save this until the child is 17 )



Edited by dontracy 2006-09-15 2:01 PM


2006-09-15 2:02 PM
in reply to: #542719

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Giver
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Subject: RE: Questions for BT parents
Mike 45 - 2006-09-15 2:20 PM

I pretty much say the sme thing as Jim. 

Mommy and Daddy go to work to earn money to pay the bills so we can eat and live in a house and you can watch tv and bla bla bla bla bla bla and grow up to be a Conservative Republican just like Jim. 

Don't make me give my hippie commune speech...

2006-09-15 2:05 PM
in reply to: #542778

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Pro
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Orange Park Florida
Subject: RE: Questions for BT parents
run4yrlif - 2006-09-15 3:02 PM
Mike 45 - 2006-09-15 2:20 PM I pretty much say the sme thing as Jim. 

Mommy and Daddy go to work to earn money to pay the bills so we can eat and live in a house and you can watch tv and bla bla bla bla bla bla and grow up to be a Conservative Republican just like Jim. 

Don't make me give my hippie commune speech...

Just making sure you are awake!   

2006-09-15 2:06 PM
in reply to: #542703

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Master
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Finally north of the Mason-Dixon Line
Subject: RE: Questions for BT parents
That may have been a bit far about sleeping on the streets, but 7 is old enough to know that money is necessary to pay for a roof over your head and food in your belly.

I have the opposite problem. My first grader thinks I do NOT love her since I am at home all day to "bother" her and asks why don't I work. My response has been "Daddy has a job that allows us to pay all the bills without me having to work outside the home for money. And yes I do work, just my work is taking care of this family - kids, husband, house, cooking, cleaning" blah blah blah.... Then I put it in another perspective of "what if I worked like daddy for money, you would never see him or me". how would that make you feel? We wouldn't be here to put you to bed or get you ready in the morning for school. Who would take care of you". She has since changed her mind that yes I work, but it's ok that I "bother" her.



Edited by houston-tri-mamma 2006-09-15 2:09 PM
2006-09-15 2:14 PM
in reply to: #542778

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Expert
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Lake Forest, Illinois
Subject: RE: Questions for BT parents
run4yrlif - 2006-09-15 2:02 PM
Mike 45 - 2006-09-15 2:20 PM

I pretty much say the sme thing as Jim. 

Mommy and Daddy go to work to earn money to pay the bills so we can eat and live in a house and you can watch tv and bla bla bla bla bla bla and grow up to be a Conservative Republican just like Jim. 

Don't make me give my hippie commune speech...

Aww common...I dig hippie commune speaches...

2006-09-15 2:18 PM
in reply to: #542786

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Master
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A Prairie Home
Subject: RE: Questions for BT parents
houston-tri-mamma - 2006-09-15 3:06 PM

That may have been a bit far about sleeping on the streets....


Yeah, I think so too.. But that came from the maid, who is not really articulate. She probably said it so that she can get the child off her back quickly.



2006-09-15 2:29 PM
in reply to: #542786

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Queen BTich
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Subject: RE: Questions for BT parents

houston-tri-mamma - 2006-09-15 2:06 PM 

 I have the opposite problem. My first grader thinks I do NOT love her since I am at home all day to "bother" her and asks why don't I work. My response has been "Daddy has a job that allows us to pay all the bills without me having to work outside the home for money. And yes I do work, just my work is taking care of this family - kids, husband, house, cooking, cleaning" blah blah blah.... of you". She has since changed her mind that yes I work, but it's ok that I "bother" her.

Thats funny, I was the same way when I was growing up. I would ask my mom how come I wasn't lucky like all the other kids that got to go play at day care after school! "How come I can't go THERE and play? Why do YOU have to pick me up?" Ha! I've made sure to tell my mom repeatedly that I appreciated what they provided for us, got to help with homework and take us to extra curriculars.

2006-09-15 2:55 PM
in reply to: #542703

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Champion
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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Subject: RE: Questions for BT parents
Quick recap to make sure I understand the situation...

Single parent works enough to hire a maid/nanny. Child wonders why parent works so much and asks the maid. Quick answer: "so you don't have to live on the street."

Hmmmm....

I think the child is smart enough to realize people work for $$ and trade $$ for food, shelter, and other things. The child may now be concerned that any little hiccup may result in their being homeless since the child probably has no other context or appreciation for how much separation there is between the current lifestyle and that of the homeless person.

Hopefully the maid passes the question on to the parent.
2006-09-15 2:58 PM
in reply to: #542760

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Champion
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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Subject: RE: Questions for BT parents
dontracy - 2006-09-15 1:48 PM

Denise2003 - A 7 year-old child (with single parent) asks "why does mommy cannot stay home with me?"

Umm...

Because the culture is a bit loopy. It values what a mommy produces more than her role as the primary nurturer and educator of her child...

(maybe best save this until the child is 17 )



Dontracy, I agree with the sentiment, but a single parent doesn't have the same choices some of us take for granted. I've seen too many parents on the hamster wheel thinking they are getting ahead with the second income.
2006-09-15 3:08 PM
in reply to: #542861

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Philadelphia, south of New York and north of DC
Subject: RE: Questions for BT parents

McFuzz - Dontracy, I agree with the sentiment, but a single parent doesn't have the same choices some of us take for granted.

Right, I'm with you on that.

(this is the first time I've used the sarcasm font - what a freeing experience )



Edited by dontracy 2006-09-15 3:09 PM
2006-09-15 3:28 PM
in reply to: #542703

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Got Wahoo?
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San Antonio
Subject: RE: Questions for BT parents

Maddie and I had a similar late night conversation, but phrased a little differently.

Daddy, why do you and my mommy have to work?

"Why do you think?

She pauses, looks up for a minute and says "...so you can buy things?"

Condensed:

"Wrong. If we don't pay the monsters under your bed every week, thay will take you away, eat your toes and sell you to gypsies and I'm not sure if I paid them this week. Now go to bed."

The next day: "Do Gypsies have princesses?" 

"Yes, but they have all their toes."

Big smile. Kids are pretty smart. I find if you let them explore their own feelings and help facilitate that exploration on matters like this they get it, plus I want my daughter to trust her own reasoning and judgment. It doesn't work all the time, but I suggest having a conversation with your child about why he or she thinks people work aside from the maids comments, perhaps explainging that may be why the maid works, but not necessarily why you do, etc.....  

 



Edited by tmwelshy 2006-09-15 3:32 PM


2006-09-15 3:30 PM
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2006-09-15 3:38 PM
in reply to: #542879

Crystal Lake, IL
Subject: RE: Questions for BT parents
dontracy - 2006-09-15 3:08 PM

McFuzz - Dontracy, I agree with the sentiment, but a single parent doesn't have the same choices some of us take for granted.

Right, I'm with you on that.

(this is the first time I've used the sarcasm font - what a freeing experience )

Look at Big Don, cutting loose!  Next thing you know Jim will be teaching him how to glue Birkenstocks back together. 

 

2006-09-16 4:40 PM
in reply to: #542703

Veteran
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Seattle
Subject: RE: Questions for BT parents

i agree that you should tell a 7yo that the money keeps you off the street.  i think that sends an oversimplified message of why people are on the street to begin with.

the real answer is to pay the maid :-) JK.  i usually try to explain to my kids the reason is economic.   we need money to pay for things like their soccer gear, ballet lessons, ski gear and of course - kid tri-gear.  they get that suprising well.  it's a fine line though, the last thing i want to convey is that my working = free stuff for them.  but i think they already figured that out.

2006-09-16 8:06 PM
in reply to: #542703

Pro
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MAC-opolis
Subject: RE: Questions for BT parents

I'm a single father with not 1, not 2, but 3 jobs (1 full, 2 part time).  Little Billy is 7 and is at that age where he wants to be with daddy all the time.  My ex told me yesterday that he had to do a little questionnaire for his second grade class.  One of the questions was, "When are you the happiest?"  His response (to his mother), "When I'm with my dad." 

I recently changed careers and took a much less paying full time job so that I could move closer to my son and his mother, hence the part time jobs to make ends meet.  I'm very lucky in that my ex and I are very good friends and work together with all things regarding to Billy, and even some use each other for support in our respective personal lives.  As such, I know that my relationship with my son is nurtured in my absence through the support that his mother has for his relationship with me.

Despite all I have going on, I mange to have him with me 3-4 nights each week.  The times he asks me why I have to work at night, I simply tell him because it costs a little bit more to live here in south Miami and I would rather work more and be closer to him than to work only one job and only see him on the weekends.  He gets that and agrees by saying, "OK daddy, make lots of money at work tonight"

As with all things, parenting is unique to the parent and as such, I never criticize or judge another's means unless it results in obvious harm to the child.  Rather, I simply share my experience which others can try on to see if it fits them and their family.

 

2006-09-16 8:31 PM
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2006-09-16 9:37 PM
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