A recent article online concerned a mother who refused to pay her teenage daughter to do household chores. A reader poll found that an overwhelming majority agreed with the girl.
Paying a child to pull his weight in the family when said child, being a minor, does not pay his share of the mortgage and utilities and receives free services of health care, transport, food, clothing and laundry (careful, that’s the short list) to boot. What a concept! History bears witness to the level of entitlement that many children today carry in their minds.
The daughter wants and receives an allowance for doing nothing, and wants to be paid extra sums every time she lifts one of her manicured fingers in daily service to maintain a well-functioning household.
When I was underage and my parents told me to do a chore, they never offered seduction. It never even crossed my mind to ask for one because all my friends were in the same boat. We received weekly allowances and did chores for nothing, simply because our parents assigned them to us. I learned to wash floors before the age of four, washing my own clothes in my mother’s “washing machine” – a galvanized tub with hand rollers bolted to it – at five. When I was 12, during the summer holidays, I painted our house. No money has ever changed hands.
“What are you going to give me?” never crossed my lips. If so, my stepfather’s response would have been like, “I’ll give you something if you don’t do it and do it right.” An unequivocal speech is an excellent motivator for children.
By doing my chores, I didn’t earn any money but I took away tremendous value. Apart from the financial side, I learned what it took to learn to achieve my emancipation, which I did at 20, when I married the woman I am still married to. One of the reasons our marriage has been through the ups and downs of reality is that we both clean when things need cleaning, we both cook, we both do chores gardening and we both take care of our two beloved dogs. We are a team.
The girl in question doesn’t see herself as part of a team. She wants something for nothing. Worse, she thinks she is entitled to something for nothing. It is likely that she will marry one day and make her husband unhappy. She’ll probably bounce from job to job looking for the Garden of Eden job that doesn’t exist. Friendships won’t last because narcissism is very hard to endure for long.
Understanding the need to give and take in relationships is what makes them last, and believe me, there are few things more satisfying when you get to your golden years than a spouse and friends who have been there for a long, long time. long time .
Mother of said titled teenager, if you happen to read this column, stay the course. If that means anything, you have my permission to be mean and refuse to cater to your daughter’s expanded ego. Start encouraging him, now, to enlist in the army from high school. She urgently needs an altitude adjustment, obviously.