Parenting Tips, Info, & Advice
The Day My Daughter Asked for a Raise
At bedtime last night on International Women’s Day, I found a typed note from my teenage daughter resting on my pillow. It wasn’t a note telling me how awesome I am (wishful thinking). It was a note from her asking for a raise.
Yup—you read that right, a raise.
She babysits for our younger daughter sometimes and when it’s so that her dad and I can do something fun together, we pay her. And she wanted a raise.
My initial reaction was to laugh. But then I paused and read more carefully.
Her note was thoughtful, well-researched, and well-reasoned.
It wasn’t entitled, it was rational.
She argued that she had more experience babysitting her sister than when she first started, that youth under 16 in our state are required to be paid at least 85% of minimum wage, and that as a skilled babysitter she deserves to make more than 55% of the average pay rate for our area (yes, she used percentages 😊).
It might be the single coolest note I will ever get from my daughter.
Because in one short note, it showed that she—a young woman—already recognizes her value and what she brings to the table.
So while I could have been annoyed and thought “you’re lucky we pay you anything, kid!,” instead I thought “this is a girl who is learning at an early age to ask for what she deserves.”
That’s something it took me decades to learn.
It was a proud mama moment. I was positively giddy.
Now, just because she wrote the note doesn’t mean she gets the raise. As her “employer” we now have to do our research. (Anyone in the greater Seattle area care to share with me what you pay your teen babysitters?)
And now that she’s submitted her request in writing, she will need to meet with HR (me and her dad) and outline her reasons verbally for the raise (good practice for the future).
But will she get it? It seems likely. (Don’t tell her though.)
And hopefully in that moment she will learn that doing your research pays off. That good work is worth the effort. And that bravery is rewarded.
I know she won’t always have a friendly audience on the other side of the table when she’s advocating for herself. And I also know we need to prepare her for what happens when things don’t go her way.
But during Women’s History Month, and on the heels of International Women’s Day, this feels like a good start to raising a woman who will be ready to take on the world.
Particularly in light of the recent CDC findings that our teen girls are struggling now more than ever.
So you go with your bad self, kiddo.
I guess I better get out my checkbook.
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Christy Keating is a certified parent coach, positive discipline educator, and motivational speaker. She is the founder and CEO of The Heartful Parent Collective, which includes Heartful Parent Coaching, Savvy Parents Safe Kids, and Heartful Parent Academy.
The mother of two amazing daughters, Christy strives to build a happier, healthier world - one child, one parent, and one family at a time.