Day 29 – What do you think about giving kids an allowance, and what chores do you or would you expect your child(ren) to help out with?
Ahh, the allowance question. This is an interesting subject in our house. I was brought up having to do lots of chores: dishes, vacuuming, cleaning the litter box, etc. At first there was an allowance of $2.00 a week, then I think it went up to $5.00. Then it just stopped. My parents told us they shouldn’t have to pay us. We were part of the family and so therefore had to contribute. D was brought up 100% opposite. Her parents did everything for her. Paid for everything, cleaned her room, made her lunch every day and didn’t ask her to lift a finger. When we first got together, I was a strong believer in giving Big D some chores (especially since that one day he spilled his glass of milk and expected me to clean it up! Uh, no.) I think it teaches responsibility.
We tried having him just make his bed and keep his room clean, and we gave him a small allowance. That didn’t last long. Mainly because Big D realized that D would do it for him if he left it long enough. She doesn’t think he should have to do anything because she didn’t. It’s pretty much the same now. He is expected to keep his room clean, but if he doesn’t, D will do it for him. It aggravates me sometimes, but I feel like it’s not the end of the world. On one hand, I think we sort of screwed ourselves because he is now very lazy most days and it’s like pulling teeth trying to get him to go find a job. But on the other hand, it could be worse.
About 6 years ago my boss’ son committed suicide just a week before he would have turned 21. He had some issues, but no one had any clue he was going to do it. He was a very kind, loving kid. He had just transferred to our college, and he seemed to have been doing the best he had his entire life. My boss and her husband are attentive, caring parents and did everything they could for him. Of course it devastated them. My boss still cannot go to concerts or places with big crowds, as her son played the guitar at a lot of concerts. She still does not want to celebrate her birthday each year. Last year one of the offices did an Old West theme for Halloween. The carpenter made a hangman’s noose for them. She went down to check out their office and came back crying. I asked them to take it down, and they did. I can’t imagine going through something like that. They are such sweet people, who would do anything for anyone and they didn’t deserve this.
I know I went off on a tangent, but the point is, yeah, I would like Big D to help around the house more. Really, I would like him to help out without being asked or looking for some sort of compensation. Sometimes he will surprise us. He is always helpful if we need something done that we can’t reach or unscrew. He is loving and kind even though he is spoiled. But the main thing is, he is still here with us.
Life is too short. You never know if you will die tomorrow, or live to be 100. Next year Big D will be off to college and will have to learn to take care of himself. He will. I have every faith in that. But for now, I’m just glad he’s happy and safe.