Things kids should have to do:

Their first car should always be a junky piece of shit that they have to pay for themselves.

Their clothes should not cost more than 25% more than the clothes I wear and if they do, they can pay for them.

They should work an embarrassing, service industry job for at least one year, preferably a place that makes them wear a smock and name tag.

Things kids should not be allowed to have/do/get away with:

Girls should not be allowed to get artificial nails; I'm talking 14.
They should be allowed a pager, but not a cell phone.
They should have a curfew until they're a senior in high school of at the latest 11pm-midnight.

I'll add to these as they come to me. Please message me any suggestions.

I wanted to add one example in an attempt to explain the emphasis of this node.
There is a customer that I am dealing with currently. He is a 17 year old whose parents bought him a 2000 F150 after he totaled their Expedition. This kid doesn't pay the insurance, the note or anything else on this truck but he is the one who most often refers to it as his.

Apparently he has nothing better to do, because he comes by the shop to check on his vehicle every few days, which is amusing because when he took this truck out in the middle of the night without his parents' permission and rammed it into a pole while not wearing his seatbelt, he did about 10 grand of damage, which means we will be working on it for several weeks. He bugs me about changing out the factory bumper with something not fitted for his truck, then bugs me again because he wants to close up the holes that the little "F150" emblems fit into on the fenders so he can put after market side lamps in there. So when he does this, I call his mommy, since she owns the truck and her name is on the policy. And she tells me to go ahead as planned.

And what's even more hilarious is that he went to the new car sales department and test drove a Mustang GT convertible, thinking that his parents will trade in the truck once it's finished and buy him this Mustang.

This is the kind of kid that annoys me the most, and the suggestions I had listed above were directed at teens like this, or ways to avoid teens like this.

I'm a fraud writing under this node, since I do have a child. A teenager at that. And I have a set of rules for her. But they are my rules for my daughter, I don't expect anyone else to follow them.

I don't intend to list them in detail here, since that would be contradicting the paragraph above, but mostly they are concerned with contributing to the household, in terms of time, effort and consideration, if she expects to get things out.

There are restrictions too. She has a curfew. The streets are not safe, however much we might want them to be, and the later it gets, the riskier it is. I have a duty of care and if she's not back by curfew, I will go looking. She isn't allowed to display things I or my husband find offensive (though we will explain why we find them offensive before asking her to take them down) and she isn't allowed to do anything permanent to her body (e.g. piercing or tattoos) that she might regret when the dictates of fashion change.

Alongside the rules for her, are the rules for us. If she delivers on her promises, we have to deliver on ours. Some things are private. We don't read her journal and provided her with a lockable one, so she could feel confident we couldn't. We have a right to ask questions about her life, but unless they have a direct impact on us (e.g. knowing where she is going, how long she'll be, and where we should meet her) we don't have a right to demand answers.

The rules aren't about making life miserable for her. They aren't even about the adult she will become. They're about providing an environment where she is safe, where we are secure in the knowledge that she is safe and where we can all get along as well as possible, without being in constant conflict.

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