This post might get me into hot water but that has never stopped me in the past. During my time managing people (which has been for a hundred years), and running my own babysitting agency, Babysitters In a Pinch, LLC, I have discovered that we have contributed to at least one generation that works when they feel like it, will show up when they feel like it, and their parents haven’t taught them otherwise.
I know that I’m about to sound like an old person that says stuff like; “when I was younger, I worked from the time I was 13 years old. I picked cherries in the fields, worked at Kentucky Fried Chicken, babysitting from, goodness I can’t remember the age I started that. I worked so I could buy my own clothes, have spending money for the summer, AND when I went to college work was essential in order for me to go to school.” It sounds like I’m saying: “I walked uphill both ways to school in blizzards; barefoot.” I know, I know. But there is something to it. My mom had me doing laundry from the time I was 8 years old, and not just my own (I thought she was cruel by the way). My mom needed help because she was a single mom through divorce. We couldn’t afford maids and I don’t think that was even thought about, my brother mowed lawns; including ours, he even shoveled driveways in the winter. We didn’t even THINK of hiring a person going from door-to-door asking to shovel. My mom had maids, yard guy, etc to help out, and that was her children. At the time I thought it was abusive, but now; I’m so grateful that my mom taught me that my own freedom came from getting my own money.
I think that the kind of parenting that requires our children to work and do chores needs to be re-instated (my opinion). Somewhere during the movement of parents wanting more for their children then they had has our kids believing that the world revolves around them, and they don’t need to be responsible. We have raised kids that feel entitled to their parents paying for everything even into adulthood. This is economically not sound, and is actually hurting our children because they grow up without the ability to handle stress, being dependable, being on time, and to do a good job. Not to mention when they do get a job they aren’t entitled to start at the top, get paid more then they are worth, and they should get a raise every five seconds (I know, exaggeration).
Parenting also involves, in my opinion, teaching our children to be successful adults; not people who believe life is strictly for playing, and that parents give us everything we want and or need. That education is free, clothes, food, cars, gas, insurance are all paid for by our parents. I actually have a friend that didn’t start paying for his car registration or insurance until he was 38!
Parenting is a really hard job. For most of my parents it is a full-time worry, and a lot of time spent out of the home working, coming home exhausted, and learning what is the battle worth fighting. It’s hard to know, but I hope that parents will fight the battle of chores, and work ethic. Maybe actually making their life easier by not scheduling activities for their kids, but scheduling time for them to stay home and do chores. It’s just a thought.