Driving is expensive. It cost $250 just to take Driver’s Ed. The minute we wrote that check, a standard was set; our kids assumed that we would pay for their driving experience and by extension, their cars, gas, insurance, repairs… We might indeed buy our kids a car, and cough up the exorbitant insurance premium, but we draw the line at spinning rims and sub-woofers.
So what about dating? Who should fund all that? Is that why parents have two pockets? One for driving and one for dating expenses? (And just exactly where do I fish out the money for college?) If your student has a car, somebody must pay for day-to-day expenses like fuel, oil changes, wiper fluid. So who pays for day-to-day dating expenses? Relationships can cost a lot of money. Does your student have a job? An income? A trust fund?
Whenever you are with your student and you pay for something like a burger at the drive-thru or a tank of gas put it into dating perspective. Example: “Geez, Brigit, I just spent 60 minutes worth of hourly wage to buy you a burger you wolfed down in 37 seconds.” Question: “Was it worth it?” or “ Well Nick, it would take me 2 hours of babysitting to earn what I just spent on your Valentine’s Day present.”
(A word here: teach your teenagers to never, ever skimp on tipping their food server. No matter how closely they are counting their change at the end of the night, always tip 20% – and round up. If you can’t do the math, you can’t date. Tipping generously not only looks good, it’s the right thing to do.)