My dh and I have opposite views on the money/children issue. Let me explain.
I grew up in a wealthy family. My mother has lived on the interest of a trust fund since she was 18 (her grandfather was the founder of a company you all know well - let's leave it at children's apparel). My father was an attorney. However, I was not spoiled in a material sense, and often felt like I had to struggle to get things, while my parents treated themselves to all the clothes, records, etc. they wanted. Perhaps because my father had had to start working at 13, I was not taught any work ethic. I wouldn't have known how to get a job if I wanted. I will admit that my mother bought me a used car and all my clothes, so I am luckier than many. But I went to school everyday with $2 for lunch, so I never had enough for a coke after b-ball practice or whatever. And I didn't have any cash to do things on weekends. My mother, divorced by the time I entered HS, didn't provide me with any options - chores, get a job, etc. I found it very hard to be around this wealth (at home and at school) but not be able to "enjoy" it.
I know some of you will say that you had nothing and had to work, too. But, I would have if I had had the "notion" of doing it.
When I moved to Italy at 19, I was on my own. No money at all. I was starving and smoking cigarette butts to keep the hunger at bay. This lasted about 6 months. Since then, I built myself a career and am doing great. My mom did eventually become more generous at Christmas and Birthday times.
Out of all of this I developed a real sense of doing it on your own without the financial aid of parents. I think teens should have a part-time job to earn money for extras. On the other hand, I think parents should provide their children with a complete wardrobe for all occasions (I never, even as a child, had formal attire to attend weddings or church - I was always so embarassed at weddings - proper sports attire if they play sports, etc.
My dh, on the other hand - and this is very common in France and Italy - seems to expect contributions from his parents as his birthright. He expects them to pay for dinner when we go out. Practically expects them to contribute to our home purchase. (I will have no contribution from my parents).
What do you all think about this? Will you always provide money to your children (I'm not TOTALLY against this) or do you expect your children to work for their money.
(I should add that dh's mom was a young, divorced mom. Money was always tight when he was growing up. Dh's father makes good money but was not around.