Dad asks if he’s wrong to make 12 yo daughter pay rent to teach her about life.
I live with my wife and my daughter (12F). My daughter recently started babysitting for friends and family. It’s her first job of any kind and she makes $5/hour.
I thought it would be a good exercise to teach her about taxes and fiscal responsibility if I charged her $1 for every $5 she earns. I pay for everything for her – her education, food, clothes, extracurricular activities, etc. This isn’t about her paying me back though, it’s just to teach her a general life lesson. She has no real need for the money anyways, maybe once in a blue moon she’ll go to a movie with her friends or get some lunch for example.
I said that the $1 for every $5 is her “rent” that she will pay to me at the end of each week. Well the end of the week came, and she broke down crying as I tried to take $12 from her (she babysat for 12 hours that week). I felt bad, but also wanted to stick to the decision I made and am hopeful that she will ultimately take something away from the experience. She refused to give me the “rent” so I went into her room and took it from her piggy bank. I explained how the IRS does the same thing in real life but isn’t so nice about it, and that this is a learning experience.
She broke down into hysterics and my wife started crying as well. My wife has since calmed down since I helped to comfort her, but my daughter will not talk to me. I am starting to question my tactic, but also think it will instill bad habits if I reward her crying when I am trying to teach a lesson. Did I go too far here by charging my daughter $12 in rent?
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