DEAR DAVE: I live in Los Angeles, and my daughter makes $3,000 to $5,000 a month modeling. I don't want her to become spoiled by this job and the income, and I need advice on what to do with the money. Should it be put aside for a car, and do you think she should have to pay for something like that herself?
DEAR LISA: So how do we keep a high-income, high-profile job from ruining this little girl? I think a lot of it has to do with her interaction with you, and how you gently mold her work ethic and attitude. Don't let her become a diva. She's not there to be fawned over or placed on a pedestal. She's there to serve. That means working hard and doing the best she can. That's her job whether she's flipping burgers or making $5,000 a month modeling. The money's nice, but what we're really doing is making sure she learns some important life lessons. And you're still being a parent, not a friend or peer, through every moment.
When it comes to the money, you guys should sit down and discuss some goals for the future. I think it's important that any car purchase be reasonable, because the best thing a kid this age could do with that kind of money is save up for college. Even if she goes to school on a full scholarship, she should be driving something low-key. Set the rest of it aside for when life really begins — after college.
It's essential, too, that you don't surrender the position of parent, teacher and leader. Chances are when this young lady is 34, no one will give a flip that she modeled for a while as a teenager.
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