Family-focused topics from Jason and Kim. We’ll talk about the vacation house news: gotta rebuild it. Also covered: skipping holidays like Valentine’s Day and engaging your kids in a conversation about a part time jobs for teenagers.

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Season 2, Episode 8

Welcome back to that talking thing. I’m Kim I’m Jason. This is episode nine, season two, and we have some life topics to discuss big news. I don’t know why it’s a, it’s kind of a thing we do here where we talk about builds that we have in the house. So we’re like building the office here and we were talking about renovating and a vacation home that we bought, but we got news that.

The vacation home is no bueno. It’s old and decrepit and falling apart. And don’t the foundation main home was built before 1900. Yeah, very old. And the foundation of that portion of the structure is made of tree trunks and termites love to eat. Yeah. And my mom was telling us all about Northern termites and Southern termites and they’re different.

North the Pennsylvania termite and the Maryland termite is like a burrowing creature that is lives in the soil. Yeah. Live season to season Florida drop from the trees until it’s a little scary or the, those, but I guess when you’re worried about your house. Yeah. So we have, we knew this was a possibility and we have to probably tear the tear, the house down, building.

Which is exciting in its own. Right. It’s just different. It’s really weird. But to, it reminds me of when we found out the sex of our first baby, and I think there was one ultrasound and we thought Isaac was going to be a girl that you didn’t believe it. But I did. And I was home. I was like, oh my baby girl.

And what’s it going to be like, to have a girl? And then the next day you got another ultrasound. They’re like, no, it’s a boy. And then I was like, oh, what would you like to be a bit like, both are fun, but they’re totally different. And yeah, so renovating an old house is fun and building, tearing it down and building a new one.

It’s fun too. It’s just different. I’m on the phone. I was concerned. We wouldn’t have agreement on the style or the layout of, of the new build, but we have a contender that we like. We did a cool thing where we started with identifying what rooms we want and roughly on what floors we want them. Yeah. What rooms need water views.

What rooms are going to be lived in most? What are features in our current house we couldn’t live without and what our features in our current house, we don’t really need or want a fireplace feature list. We weren’t so sure we wanted to put a fireplace in this new is there not our front house? We’re still looking at one, but it could be easily removed.


I don’t require a fireplace and I wanted to push us to have one story living a first floor master because I can see us having this property into our old golden years. Yeah. And mobility can become a problem in your golden years. So to, to think about it’s good to look ahead. Yeah. And we also knew we wanted a large open room that could hold a lot of facts.

In case one of our friends with multiple kids came and they had a family room, they could all be together like requirements to sleep for adults. And for kids is like the ideal. Yes. But I’m very nervous about the process about selecting a builder, who we can from this great of a distance trust to make progress on the project and the waste we need them to, without us.

Omnipresent. They’re going to cut corners or just do weird random things. We’ll go down some weekend and be like, there weren’t closets in this room or it’s here and there isn’t anywhere that we can live on the property while this work is done and monitor. If we have lives here, we have jobs. Our families need us need us.

We can’t be there every day. No, I, yeah. I have an idea that builders who build homes. Better at this. Then when you get a general contractor to do something custom, because it isn’t custom, it’s like you literally gave me $2,000 blueprints to spell everything out. The more simple we can keep the project, the less we modify anything.

Yeah. And your mom’s advice to accept builder grade things that we can then upgrade years ahead. Yeah. But I think she kind of regrets that I tell you that story of how like, oh, but she built the one house. You know, save money. He was like, or I don’t really like the bathroom that they have, so I’ll just get the minimum and then upgrade it later.

I think she realized like for her, in that case, it wasn’t, they weren’t really going to upgrade it later. They did get around their grading some things. So it was like 20 years later. So they live with this like subgrade bathroom or there was one decision of like, they would’ve had a room for my grandparents.

I think that kind of cut corners to not have that. Yeah. But that’s a little different. I don’t know. Maybe we should ask her again, because maybe I’m remembering the story wrong, but that is definitely something we could do. We were ready to, you know, for this to be like a a hundred year old house. You’re like, oh, I’m sorry.

Like the carpet is, it’s funny, like reading about them. Like what’s the demonstrating like grade one. Yeah. You know, amenities and grade five or whatever. The thing that bothers me is builder. Installing things that are very simple to install that we could do ourselves or my sister and her wife could support.

But I know that with the way we’re going to finance this, that won’t be allowed. We won’t be able to tell the builder we’ll install the kitchen cabinets. You just leave those walls blank. Yeah. With the construction loan, we won’t be able to, then the contractor will have to do what it’s supposed to be worth.

And the contractor will have to be the only person working in that space and it’s unavoidable, which is sad. I also feel though, They should be able to do it much faster. So even though technically we can do things, it’s like, just get it done, get it quickly with them. Like, yeah. But we’ll see, that’ll be fun.

Most of them run into it. Maybe multiple years of us talking about this. I hope not till it can even begin. Uh, we’ll see. Let’s see. What else? Okay. Another topic I had here today’s Valentine’s day. Happy Valentine’s day, honey. I know you got me something, even though he’s saying yeah. People anything, that’s a trap star wars.

It’s a trap. Your gift is actually a gift for today. I bought it. I was going to just give it to you. It arrived today and I got the kids something. Yeah. So I put yours in a bag also to make you feel bad. I appreciate it. Oh, no, I didn’t appreciate, I don’t care. You thinking about me even though it wasn’t Valentine’s day when you originally got this thing.

Yeah. That’s how gifting should be. Uh, I got your flowers, flowers, and chocolate pretzels. And I can’t wait for you to open those chocolate pretzels because I want to eat one too. Oh, okay. The other day they hadn’t been opened yet and I was, no, they just appear not open because close, close the bag really well afterwards.

Okay. I’m going to have one then. Okay. Don’t bump the table. It makes the thing get blurry. Yeah. So we, so we, for various reasons, We’re often skipping holidays like this, like we’re not going to slow down and celebrate Valentine’s day in a special way today. Know is that sometimes these holidays, we’re not even doing some with the kids.

Sometimes we’ve done that. We’ve even had Valentine’s day where like, um, you know, me and one kid, you and one kid, and we kind of have like separate Valentine’s day. So we’ve done that like a couple of years. So sometimes the kids take over the holidays, so we don’t do it. I don’t feel bad about it. We’re having fun whenever we can, you know, we’re going out whenever we can.

We’re buying gifts for each other. Whenever we see something that the other word like, so I don’t, but it’s going to be filled. We fell that way. I don’t know if every couple feels that way and it can be a trap sometimes if it’s kind of, you know, like maybe do you feel this way that maybe you don’t really know yourself?

You think? I think I’m okay. We just bought whatever it is. A giant TV to get. So don’t buy me a Christmas present, but then when Christmas comes and everyone else’s opening stuff and you don’t have anything to open, you know, like, oh, I didn’t realize this actually would feel kind of sad. I need more stuff.

Or I’m aware of how a holiday, like Christmas is all about the kids. And it’s an opportunity as parents to teach our kids how to gift and how to recognize and reciprocate gifting. So. If it’s only about the kids and Christmas is only kids getting gifts, then they’re not observing and feeling the touchy, feely emotions of gifting.

They’re only receiving. So for Christmas specifically, I like that our children get one, another gifts, consider a gift for us as, uh, as training to be a human being. That’s important for me to find time to take. And take them through the process of getting gifts for each other and for you and for grandma.

Yeah. But I appreciate a holiday, like Valentines giving you a marked day to reflect on something like love and a birthday as a Mark Day to reflect on one person. It’s nice. But this Valentine’s day, we’re just kind of saying nice things, which are recording our podcasts. Um, we also, we have like a dating anniversary that we celebrate more than our marriage anniversary because we’ve come in, not so much.

We didn’t really date longer than we’re married. We’re not married 15 years. We started dating in 1999. Yeah. And we celebrate April 10th, 1999. What’d did she say. What’s map count the number of years. How many years is it? So we’ve been married for 15. We were dating for nine before that. So 26. Wow. Wow.

This is like a moment to reflect that Superbowl halftime show hit home for us. We are old. Yeah, that was good. Snoop dog Dre. I feel like holidays are permission to do less because we are very busy where we do go anywhere we want, whenever we want, I enjoy that a holiday can be calm and quiet and we can watch, which are together.

That can be our date. Okay. Let’s watch whether she wanted to watch it yesterday. Yeah. Okay. That’ll be nice. That’ll be nice. We’ll go watch downstairs. Okay. Sweet. Thank you here. Move on to remember the other day I said something. I said, I got flowers from my girlfriend. Oh yeah. My kids got on my case and I was like, your mom, your mom is my girlfriend.

She’s your wife was like, she’s also my girlfriend. Thanks. I love you, baby. It’s just getting too much. The next time our kids are going to have Valentine’s one day. That’s weird. Yeah. Like they don’t have real boyfriend or girlfriend. No. You know, there’s been little crushes here and there, but nothing super serious.

I don’t think any of them are doing anything special. We help Marin who’s 10 make like a Valentine gift for everyone in our class. Yup. Isaac who’s 13. They don’t do that anymore. No, they had a party at school Valentine’s party. He played chess with some kid at lunch party. They were playing games during the one class Jackbox party and a karaoke machine and someone there was a heat gun and they were making smores inside.

They had a Valentine’s party next topic, our timer’s off. So I’m trying to keep track of time. I think we’re good jobs for teenagers. Uh, we talked about this at our family meeting. Every Sunday, we have like an hour long meeting in place of church, kind of where everyone in our household, the two of us or two kids and your mom who lives with us get together and talk about things.

So this topic came up on Sunday. I mean, I brought it up, but we can talk about it now. How did it go? Do you think, or do you have thoughts on it still jobs for teenage.

It’s difficult to talk about this because our son got very stressed talking about it. And he, he is a person who suffers with a lot of anxiety and specifically around conversations where we, as his parents are discussing something that feels like a expectation or a pressure. And our intentions for this conversation were very broad, high level.

I was just curious and it was like, oh yeah, our kids are like almost of age to get jobs. How’s that going to happen? And blah, blah, blah. Yeah. So I thought I’d throw it out there. He, uh, Isaac in the past has expressed to me something like. You just want me to be really smart, go to school and get a good job so I can pay for my sister to live or something.

It was like, it was, I was like, well, and this was years ago. He was like nine years old or something. I was like, wait, where are you? Get that? Whereas you think you’re just a parent every once in a while saying encouraging words, or like talking about the future, like this, you know, school’s important because I got a good job, you know?

And then it warps into like this really? You keep asking me, I don’t need to figure it out yet. I was like, no, no, no, no. Yeah. I liked when Isaac said, and he was sitting there deeply considering what would motivate him to get a job. ’cause I, I brought that up to him. I said, what, what would happen in your life that you would think to yourself?

I wish I had spending money from a job, or I wish I had an experience from a job. And if we can identify that, then it will be us pressuring him to do it. Um, and he. I felt bad saying there’s nothing I have right now that I can’t buy. I have everything I need. I have a loving family. I have games that I like to play.

I have a computer. I have a comfortable home. I have clothes. I was proud of that. Yeah. The goal of working when you’re this age. To make a ton of money. The goal is to practice being a person who we went, we went to instill a work ethic into them, and it’s good to just like, I appreciate the experience of random high school jobs and things.

Um, but it’s true, like bus because of, you know, our classes. The kids get a bunch of stuff and presents, they get so much, you know, kind of like spending money through their birthday and Christmas. Yeah. It lasts them for awhile. And I think almost like a generational thing where that they don’t have a lot to spend on.

They live on like online stuff is free and our kids, it’s also a good thing. Our kids aren’t material. I remember in the one, um, that Ron Lieber book, how to not split unspoiled your kids or something, it talks about, you know, give them an allowance so they know how to use money. But for instance, They’ll only have enough money like you’ll or when you buy them clothes, don’t make them buy their own clothes.

But you say, Hey, I’m going to buy you the old Navy, $20 jeans. If you want the $60 designer jeans you got to chip in. And we do that kind of thing every once in a while with, um, like Marin’s, uh, Valentine’s gifts. I said, oh, like a $20 budget seem reasonable. These kids have to buy signs, right? Whatever you hear.

I was like, and she was making the Valentines herself. That’s what I would have paid to buy, like one of those little packs. So I was like, oh, I’ll buy two pens to give everyone. But depends where like $32. And I only had 20, so I did 20 and cheesed $12 from her allowance. She had saved up to buy pens for everyone.

So that was good. But also like. Th that small amount of money was money. She’d saved that from like a little bit that $15 a week allowance. We give them that, um, it’s a lot to some other folks. We also make them split that money up into save and money that they donate and give so that, yeah, they don’t maybe as they get older, that’s the thing that I think there’ll be more things to spend money on and then there’ll be pressured.

I’m beyond frustrated that neither of them would like to contribute to our business in a small role. They, they want the worst. At home? Yes. They could sit at home on their computer. Isaac wrote a read me for me once when we did a plugin update and did a decent job, what a much more enjoyable environment than working at McDonald’s.

He writes while I had him do like blogging for investor geeks, and Aaron can figure that out. Now she’s probably good enough to, he said that he didn’t think he had the skills to yeah. To work for. But he doesn’t know how to work for McDonald’s either. Is it? It’s fun. I see like shows and media, that kids and the one random old dude, like hanging out together the back of the Wendy’s.

Are we, are we modeling an unappealing job? I don’t know. Will they reject remote working or entrepreneurship? I worry about. Do my hair and dress better on you’re nicely dressed today for the audio. Only think he’s wearing a button down shirt and one of our business logo tees. Okay. Yeah. Now, yeah. Why? I don’t know why they don’t it’s and I felt too that work ethic whenever they have art motivations or the mayor wants to make music or draw, or Isaac wants to do 3d printing types.

Or come up with an idea for a game. We try to encourage that because it gets so they lose interest after a little bit. And I guess that’s okay. That’s I mean, they’re 10 and 13. Like the eventually. Care about it more also like Isaac has this other world with his friends where like, I, I can think of all these things where I started working with him and he kind of dropped off.

But at the same time, every once in a while, it’s like he made a meme for his discord group or like he’s running a tournament through a spreadsheet. And I use that example where it’s like, oh, you’re not to use spreadsheets. Like, that’s why I’m just like, you can build spreadsheets for me for a job. I don’t know.

Oh, every two about just like capitalization of the world or, um, capitalism, like everything, even artists, I was like, that’s great art and beauty and truth in the world. And, but find out how to make money on it and make it part of like the capitalism machine, because that’s the only thing our culture values.

And we’re just, you know, projecting that onto our kids as well, by forcing them to get it. At some point, at some point they will have to live their own life and winning the lottery is not a life plan. So it’s very hard. If a parent out there listening has an idea of how the motivated child to have a job, I think it starts with removing all of that.

Technology and internet access. What do you mean? They’re never not bored or they’re never bored. They are never bored. They never have the opportunity to be bored. It’s working as a trade-off to having the joy that they have currently getting a job means I do not get. Plays a new Pokemon game on switch for two hours today.

It eats into their other time. Yeah. So if there are other time is less fun, maybe working will be appealing. It’s hard. It reminds me of home. We’re going over a little bit, but when we were homeschooling the kids and you’re trying to teach them things, there’s just concepts around like you can’t, it’s, it’s hard to teach a kid math by giving them assignments cause they don’t care about.

Like they don’t care about filling, filling out, you know, math problems. It’s not real to them. And what’s better. What’s better in some of the books. Like the unschooling will say you can’t even kind of orchestrate like a problem that they care about. You kinda have to wait for them to care first. And then like, recognize the moment like, oh, this is it.

This is the one moment like there, when we were buying the Valentine’s now Marin knows like some of this math already, but we were, she was trying to figure out how much money she needed. I said, I’ll give you 20 and three. And what does it cost? I was like, oh, this is like a real life. And like, she’s going to do more math learning.

And that moment that she went on, like any sheet, and even if it’s one problem, it says as good as like a hundred and like the aha moment of like, oh, that’s how subtraction and addition. Um, I don’t know if it’s a similar thing for these like older life skills as well of, they’re not really going to understand, you know,

work ethic and the need for money until they kind of get pushed to it in a natural way. I was just thinking how we also just babies home and home act. Remember that they kept keep you up all night. Yeah, so we’re gone. This is what we’re going through. Let us know if you have ideas. I have no ideas. I was thinking to post in the slack channel for Isaac school.

If other parents had ideas, try to crowdsource some, I’m going to break down the labor illusion. And I don’t want me to get to work on my public parenting. Well, my view right now is fo focused on the short term that minimize the anxiety for Isaac. It’s like, I’m not talking about later. I’m talking. You know, it’s, you’re going to be 14 next year.

Do you want to get job till we figure it out? You know, or maybe I have to wait until it’s like, Hey, next month or, yeah. Um, and yeah, just, yeah, just hope. That’s my that’s. My goal is to just hope that I expect that other mode they’ll get motivated from external factors and it’s not, that’s not really our job as parents to motivate them.

It’s not really easy to do. Yeah. I think unblock wrote unblocked. Takeaway obstacles to them doing what they want when they want it. That’s what we’re here for. Yeah. Yeah. So keep your eyes open if we recognize that, like who they’re motivated. Perfect. And then jump on it. Good. Good luck parents. It’s a rough one out there.

All right. Thanks. Thank you.