Ask Dr. Job’s chief contributor, Sandra Pesmen, is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide.”

Winner of several journalism awards, Pesmen is a graduate of the University of Illinois Media College at Urbana, and is listed in several Who’s Who editions. She also has been Corporate Features Editor of Crain Communications Inc., founding Features Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and a reporter/features writer for The Chicago Daily News.

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Days of entitlement ending for teen

Q. My parents used to be very generous and even gave me a second-hand car when I turned 16 last year. Unfortunately, my father lost his job and had to take one that pays much less and my mother works only part time. So now we all have to help out. I felt lucky to find a part-time job in a supermarket this summer and plan to keep working there during the school year. My parents feel I should use the money I earn to pay for gas AND the additional auto insurance they pay to keep a teenager on their policy. They used to pay for both. They say it will teach me responsibility and make me drive more carefully if I'm paying for the insurance. I'm willing to buy the gas, but the insurance will take just about all the rest of the money I earn. Is that fair?

Ans. It's sad that the days of entitlement are ending for so many teens. But you sound like a great kid, and your parents must be very proud of your positive reaction to their lifestyle change. Invite them back to the negotiating table and try to improve the terms. Be armed with statistics showing exactly how much you'll earn. Show how much gas you'll need for school and some social life, as well as how much the insurance will cost. Faced with those facts, your parents may reconsider your need to keep some portion of your profits for fun. I bet they will.

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