While on vacay in Bermuda, I made a pit stop at a mini mart to pick up some water and a few snacks to take with me into town. At the end of the check out line stood an adorable curly haired ten year old boy bagging my groceries. I jokingly asked him if he was working and what time he would be getting off work. The cashier, a.k.a. his grandmother, quickly turned and answered my question for him.
“He sure is working, knocks off around 9 tonight, and only works on Saturdays making about $150.00 a day”.
I turned to my boyfriend mouthing a mild expletive. I was blown away by the fact that at the age of ten, children were actually working for pay. I couldn’t help but think of my own son back in the states, who happens to be the same age. Was I slipping in terms of instilling values and setting expectations for my own children?
It was an ‘in-your-face’ reminder of how parenting in the states is different than it is in many other countries. To a certain extent – our kids feel entitled. I know there’s more that I can do in order to avoid crippling my kids by making things too easy for them. There’s definitely room for improvement on my part. While I don’t plan to suit my son up in his Sunday’s best and take him to fill out job applications when he gets out of school this Friday, I do plan to revamp the earning system that I currently have in place. Working for what you want instead of just getting what you want has its rewards.
Do you think children should work for pay before sixteen?