As a fully-fledged adult, I have been exposed to the real world and all that it encompasses on many occasions. Each time I have lusted after my youth, keen to be reunited with those halcyon days where I didn’t have a worry about anything.
There is something extremely appealing about being completely naive to everything. Can you imagine anything more ideal than being ignorant of politics, finances and adult relationships? How blissful would it be to devote your attention to nothing other than fun games, sleep and poking bugs into a glass jar? But while we are all busy wishing for time to be reversed, one mother is working hard to prepare her daughter for the future. Essence Evans is only too aware of how harsh this world is, which is why she has decided to teach her five-year-old daughter, Brooke, a lesson she’ll never forget. Posting to Facebook, the Georgia-based mom explained how she makes her tiny tot pay $5 each week in rent. “This strategy not only prepares your child for the real world, but when they see how much real bills are they will appreciate you,” she wrote, explaining her decision. But while people were quick to comment on her parenting plan (“Wow, what a moron. Let your kid be a kid and enjoy their youth before they have to spend the rest of their life worry about bills. I wouldn’t share this story with anybody because you’re a horrible parent,” wrote one particularly incensed user) they failed to see how the plan actually works. “Every week she gets $7 in allowance,” Essence, a yoga instructor typed, before going on to say: “I make her give me $5 back. $1 for rent, $1 for water, $1 for electricity, $1 for cable and $1 for food. The other $2 she gets to save or do whatever she wants with.” “I explained to her that in the real world most people spend most of their paycheck on bills with little to spend on themselves,” the mom continued. However, she then went on to explain that the $5 rent isn’t as it seems. “Now, what she doesn’t know is the $5 is actually going away in her savings account which I will give back to her when she turns 18,” the savvy mom wrote. “So if she decides to move out on her own she will have $3,380 to start off.” Essense ended her post by encouraging other mothers to “share” the message so that they too could start the same regime with their child. Many were supportive of her plan. “You are brilliant for teaching this to your child in this way!” wrote one fellow mom, before adding: “I have done similar with my kids, and I am now the proud parent of two young ladies who know and respect what they can earn more than something given to them.”
Meanwhile, there were other users who didn’t see it the same way. “Its YOUR job to raise your child,” one user furiously typed, before going on to say: “Put the money in a savings account if you want, but no child should be made to feel that they should pay for what a parent should provide.” Essence has now removed the post, which had been shared more than 313,000 in a few days, but it is unclear if her decision to do so was influenced by the mixed reviews her initiative received. What do you think, has she given her daughter the best start in life she could possibly have? Or, is it wrong to charge her rent?