What's wrong with this picture? (Just kidding) Actually my husband has a mini-me. Our almost five year old son. It doesn't matter what my husband is doing, either tearing out walls or shoveling dirt, our son is there with a hammer or rake in hand! I will ask our son if he wants to come with Mommy or bake with Mommy, "No" He's our daddy's little boy! I'm completely fine with this although witnessing, I wonder how we can get our teenagers involved with a rake? Last weekend one of our teen boys asked if he could make money. Right away I stated that he doesn't want us as his employers but he insisted that he wanted to work. So my husband gave him a job fixing our driveway. Wheel barreling dirt from point A to B then raking smooth. Basically filling in large potholes. As the day progressed with texting, multiple drinking, bathroom and computer breaks the job wasn't finished. For the "effort" we decided to pay our teen the time he did shovel dirt. Unfortunately the job wasn't finished. So as seen above, my husband and his little mini-me finished what was started a week prior. Most of our teenagers work hard and respectively for someone else but for us, we can't be their employers. For our younger children they love having chores and collecting earnings but then all of a sudden once teenage hood hits; they either expect the money tree to deliver or the chore should take seconds for twenty dollars! If we all made money like this, we would be millionaires! What we're learning is to never criticize but to gently suggest on how we want things done. Even so, they know how to do it a different way! The different way consists of listening to their Ipod's and texting their friends while the chore magically happens itself. Then because they spent the time thinking about the chore, their time should be paid for! I'm realizing that with some of our teenagers, employment from us, can't happen. It's completely funny when my husband decides to have "the speech" about back in the day on the farm. Talking about gathering hay bails, cleaning out the barn and driving grain wagons back and forth. I used to pick and bundle salal to sell to the local florist shops with my Mother. If I really wanted money, I would collect pop bottles, now it's too embarrassing for the teenagers to bring in cans. I'm really evaluating our situation and why some of our teenagers seem to be clearly slack on the help department. I know I'm completely guilty for doing too much at times but finding the fine balance between being their Mother and teaching them work ethics is important for their future. Unless it's true, they work better for others. I do know technology has changed everyone. It's an empowering source that is great but also a complete distraction for our working youth. Texting is time consuming and if they're paid by the hour, exactly how much time is spent working? According to our potholes, maybe an hour and fifteen minutes throughout a four hour period. Two of our teens state that they work academically better with Ipod's. Perhaps, I couldn't. How on earth can someone focus on English listening to music? Clearly the decade has shifted from when I was a teenager. I also find that it doesn't matter how much you raise your child to be a certain way, how much you preach "back in the day" ultimately they find their own path and will work how and for whom they want too. I just hope that some of our teenagers are only being teenagers and their work ethics improve for somebody and most importantly for themselves, for their future. For now, my husband and his little mini-me is patching up the left overs while I contemplate how to explain a job not well done.