Wednesday, November 14, 2012

children on strike

What's a living wage for a child these days?
Parents beware! Your children might go on strike if you don’t pay them enough for doing chores. Several weeks ago I read a Dear Abby column regarding allowance pay. The writer said she received $3 a week to do household chores such as taking out the garbage, washing dishes, vacuuming and setting the table every night. The child felt her pay was too little for all she did. She was tired of being her mother’s “slave” and declared herself on strike until the pay increased. At that point I had to put the paper down.

This is what’s wrong with the children of today. They think doing what they should do requires a reward. You have to pay them for making good grades, performing chores or just acting like they have sense. A child’s “pay” is staying in the household. Parents typically pay for everything their children need – clothes, food and much more. Any allowance received should be accepted with an attitude of gratitude. Her parents don’t have to give her an allowance. Somehoe I missed the section on allowances being required in the parent handbook. I only seem to recall something about loving and providing for them. I wish my future children would even fix their mouths to say, “I’m on strike.” They won’t be saying anything else for a while.

Children should do chores since they are a part of the household, not because they are entitled to compensation. People who want to get paid get jobs. All those dishes I washed in the Robinson household never yielded a dime, and I was perfectly fine with it. After all I was one of the people who contributed to the pile. I didn’t even think to ask my parents for an allowance (silly me). In that case I’m owed back pay because I still wash dishes, clean up and more at their house (and I don’t even live there). That’s not to say I’m against giving children an allowance. It does help build up a strong work ethic. I might even be open to paying a reasonable rate for higher than $3. But my children better not think for one minute I’m paying them minimum wage for cleaning the mess they helped make. They can strike all they want – right into someone else’s home.

How much were you paid to do chores as a child? What should a child be paid for chores?

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