Yesterday was the 16th birthday of my son. I lost count at how many people asked Aaron (and also Matthew when he turned 16) “are you getting a car for your birthday?” Short answer is absolutely not.
Long answer is because I love them too much. I believe giving a car to my teen would rob them of joy and motivation in life. One of the most valuable lessons I can teach my children is the result of having a good work ethic. The greatest things in life take hard work. Education, relationships, career, ministry, personal growth and development. If my son can learn this lesson he maybe he will have a greater chance of having success with all of these things.
If a teen doesn’t learn this lesson he might be tempted to QUIT when things get hard. Quit college. Quit a job. Quit personal growth & development. Quit a marriage. Quit church. Quit God. Etc. Growing up we never allowed the boys to quit something they committed to. In our family we call this taking it around 3rd base. They know they can’t just go to 1st or 2nd base, they must take it home.
We agree with Dave Ramsey who suggests that you match whatever your teen has EARNED working for a car. Matthew has a car but he paid for half of it. When he was a baby I remember reading that if your kids don’t learn to work for what they want they will have less joy.
Today I read this quote from Tim Elmore:
“If I grow up in a world where almost everything has been given to me, or made easy—I start feeling entitled to it.”
We all know that feeling entitled kills motivation. What say you?