Today I Learn… I make a point of learning something new everyday. This is what I learn each day

1, Jul 8, 2008

My children do not get paid for doing household chores

Filed under: children — admin @ 7:35 pm

Both of my children, being good students of capitalism, have at some point in their primary school years tried to get money out of me by offering to do some household chores. “Mom, how about I help you do the dishes and you pay me $5?” my son would come to me with this offer. My daughter would not settle for less than $10.

My reply often went like this, “How about you pay me $1 for cooking for you, $1 for doing laundry for you, $1 for cleaning your room, $1 for helping you when you have homework questions, $1 for taking you to school, $1 for taking you to your friend’s house, $1 for reading Chinese stories to you at bedtime, $1 for  …” The list could run longer than his body length.  My son would stop me before I completed my list, “Never mind, mom. You can keep your money.”

I realized many American kids get paid for helping around the house. I do not do something just because all the rest of the humanities do.  My daughter has heard it again and again the concept of social group.  The theory goes like this, we all belong to some kind of social group at any point of our lives.  Family, school, club, team are all different forms of social group.  Everybody is expected to contribute to the social group he/she belongs to.  If, instead of adding values to the group, you are seen as a burden or a pest, people would say “Good riddance” instead of “Good bye” when you leave this group. I am sure you do not want to be got rid of like this.

They understand the theory and are eager to be key players and have their presence appreciated by the group they are in.  They all have contributed to their class at school by raising the average grade of their class.  But at home, let me tell you a secret about having two children — household work is like a football, they kick it to each other. Too bad they have each other to kick about.  I often violate the rule by picking up the ball most of the time. To be fair, my son did a lot more when his sister was too small to walk and my daughter does even more when her brother is in Boston.

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