Creative Dad's--How Much is Too Much
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    By Rich Warren

When I was twelve it cost 15 cents to ride a bus or a subway. A double featureÖ50 cents. Hamburger, fries and a coke (pre-Mac Donald days) maybe $2, and a hot fudge Sundae at the local Dairy Queen was 75 Cents. Kids could buy 45ís for under a buck and almost nobody bought an entire album, except when the Beatles had a new one out. Jobs for kids were more abundant then, too. I sold flower seeds or Greetings cards by Hallmark. Sometimes I baby sat or washed cars. A couple of years later, I worked for a messenger service (they didnít know how young I was) and on weekends I played drums and sang lead in a rock band where I could make from $15 - $20 per Ďgigí. And on top of that I got $3.50 a week as my allowance for which I walked the dog twice a day, vacuumed the house once a week and polished the silverware and candlesticks once a month, among other jobs around the house.

Today, I have two daughters and times have changed radically. Movies cost at least $4.50 and thatís only if they go in the morning when none of their friends will be there to share the experience so whatís the point. A coke - $3.50. Popcorn, hot dogs, candy - $2.50. Even a happy meal is over $4 with the tax. And itís rare when you donít buy an album costing $15 - $18 with tax. Kids can still get jobs baby sitting but the pay scale has not risen with inflation and many of them are expected to baby sit their younger siblings and not get paid for it. There are almost no dances for aspiring musicians to play at and the only time itís cheaper to have kids wash your is when theyíre trying to raise funds for something at school and none of the money goes into their own pockets.

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