Author Topic: Kids and Free Labor  (Read 17478 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Twik

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 28446
Re: Kids and Free Labor
« Reply #90 on: September 27, 2013, 02:49:22 PM »
Actually, there's a lot of differing opinions as to whether a 12 year old can be left alone for long periods. Some people don't see it that it's necessary, other people have a fit at the thought of a preteen on their own for long periods of time.

I wouldn't assume that "needs supervision" means more than "his parents won't be home, so someone should be watching him."
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

EllenS

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1368
Re: Kids and Free Labor
« Reply #91 on: September 27, 2013, 02:59:03 PM »
This is coloring my attitude and where I am coming from as well.  Personally, I have met a few Tweens who were not Drama Tweens, but they are few and far-between.

I'd be careful just making this assumption though.  I was dismissed as a 'Drama Tween', but no, as it turns out, the family member really was completely toxic and eventually did show her true face (the one known to all the kids but few adults) to everyone.  I still have trouble not saying 'told you so' whenever someone who once accused me of just being lazy and dramatic relates a story of how toxic family member's behavior impacted them.

I'm sorry that happened to you.  I didn't see anything in OP to suggest that her friends are toxic or the grandson is actually being abused. 

turnip

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 531
Re: Kids and Free Labor
« Reply #92 on: September 27, 2013, 03:02:01 PM »
The grandson wasn't working for his grandparents as a paid laborer.  He was participating with them in their day-to-day activities.

Unwillingly. And for which they are making a profit, and he is not, although he is putting in a workweek like an adult.

Forty hours, five days a week is full-time work. How many people would spend their vacations doing this for relatives, for nothing more than room and board? Only to see the relatives realize a fat profit at the end, without sharing any of it?

I must say, if I were Tween, I'd not want to visit my grandparents again. Whether or not the grandparents should have checked with the parents (and I believe they should have), they were rude to their grandchild.

This is where I am.  A friend of mine went though this - every summer she was sent to her Aunt and Uncle's to work 6 days a week at their Cafe for 3 months, for the privilege of a sleeping bag on her cousin's floor and $100 cash at the end of it.  At the time she didn't really have the context to object, now as an adult she really resents them all for taking advantage of a hard working and naive kid.

JoieGirl7

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7335
Re: Kids and Free Labor
« Reply #93 on: September 27, 2013, 03:10:15 PM »
I see Tween's work as more of the "hand me that screwdriver" or "fetch the tape measure and sweep that crap off the floor" and the story wasn't told completely truthfully to either the parents or the OP.

This is coloring my attitude and where I am coming from as well.  Personally, I have met a few Tweens who were not Drama Tweens, but they are few and far-between.

Actually, I'd rather be tearing down drywall than standing around for 8 hours, waiting to hand someone a screwdriver when asked. Could there be anything more perfect for driving you mad with boredom?

Tearing down drywall is a lot more likely than putting it up.  The only contribution a tween could offer would be unskilled labor-  probably mostly helping paint (quickly learned, mistakes easily fixed).  And they would be good at doing demo.  I can't see a tween not wanting to take a sledge hammer to things.

But, anything else would be a matter of learning and just helping out.

I think that its an ideal opportunity honestly.  The skills that this kid could learn would be very valuable down the line not only in getting a summer job when he's old enough but not having to hire a handyman to do household tasks.

Add in seeing up close the whole concept of buying something, adding value and selling it for more and he's got some pretty powerful life skills.

Twik

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 28446
Re: Kids and Free Labor
« Reply #94 on: September 27, 2013, 03:45:40 PM »
And the opportunity could be presented as such.

However, the child has also learned that you can extort other people's labour with no recompense. This is not such a good learning experience.

This would have been a great idea *if* the parents and grandparents had gotten buy-in from the child at the start. However, it sounds like the child was presented with "we've decided you're going to work very hard for us, without any input from you, because your opinion doesn't count, and you'll not get any tangibles out of it. Just be thankful for the wonderful experience, K?" This, I think, is rude to the child, who does not have an option to leave if he doesn't agree with the terms.

A child old enough to put in an adult workweek doing adult labour is old enough to be *asked* to participate, not *commanded*. I'd be pretty unhappy myself if I was presented this as a fait accompli.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

JoieGirl7

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7335
Re: Kids and Free Labor
« Reply #95 on: September 27, 2013, 04:12:39 PM »
And the opportunity could be presented as such.

However, the child has also learned that you can extort other people's labour with no recompense. This is not such a good learning experience.

This would have been a great idea *if* the parents and grandparents had gotten buy-in from the child at the start. However, it sounds like the child was presented with "we've decided you're going to work very hard for us, without any input from you, because your opinion doesn't count, and you'll not get any tangibles out of it. Just be thankful for the wonderful experience, K?" This, I think, is rude to the child, who does not have an option to leave if he doesn't agree with the terms.

A child old enough to put in an adult workweek doing adult labour is old enough to be *asked* to participate, not *commanded*. I'd be pretty unhappy myself if I was presented this as a fait accompli.

Part of the job of a parent is making decisions for the good of the child, that's not being rude to the child though the child may not see it that way.


wolfie

  • I don't know what this is so I am putting random words here
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6929
Re: Kids and Free Labor
« Reply #96 on: September 27, 2013, 04:15:18 PM »
I think that its an ideal opportunity honestly.  The skills that this kid could learn would be very valuable down the line not only in getting a summer job when he's old enough but not having to hire a handyman to do household tasks.

Or he could decide he hated it so much he will never pick up another tool in his life and then either always hire someone or let it fall apart if he can't afford it.

JoieGirl7

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7335
Re: Kids and Free Labor
« Reply #97 on: September 27, 2013, 04:28:27 PM »
I think that its an ideal opportunity honestly.  The skills that this kid could learn would be very valuable down the line not only in getting a summer job when he's old enough but not having to hire a handyman to do household tasks.

Or he could decide he hated it so much he will never pick up another tool in his life and then either always hire someone or let it fall apart if he can't afford it.

That he chooses to waste a valuable opportunity does not negate the fact that it has value.  Most kids hate going to school, but I rarely see that being used as a reason not to go.

shhh its me

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6953
Re: Kids and Free Labor
« Reply #98 on: September 27, 2013, 04:33:01 PM »
And the opportunity could be presented as such.

However, the child has also learned that you can extort other people's labour with no recompense. This is not such a good learning experience.

This would have been a great idea *if* the parents and grandparents had gotten buy-in from the child at the start. However, it sounds like the child was presented with "we've decided you're going to work very hard for us, without any input from you, because your opinion doesn't count, and you'll not get any tangibles out of it. Just be thankful for the wonderful experience, K?" This, I think, is rude to the child, who does not have an option to leave if he doesn't agree with the terms.

A child old enough to put in an adult workweek doing adult labour is old enough to be *asked* to participate, not *commanded*. I'd be pretty unhappy myself if I was presented this as a fait accompli.

Part of the job of a parent is making decisions for the good of the child, that's not being rude to the child though the child may not see it that way.
To the bolded I don't think its rude... it may be bad parenting , it may be unfair , it might be cruel , it may destroy a relationship.  I don't think all bad things are rude or all good things are polite.

Please I mean might as in" its possible" , that's its a matter of opinion. 

AnnaJ

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 635
Re: Kids and Free Labor
« Reply #99 on: September 27, 2013, 04:44:12 PM »
The parents knew that their son was working on the house after the first day, so I don't see any deceit on the grandparents' part - if dad had protested and grandparents gone behind his back and still had the son work, that would be different.  Honestly, the fact that dad was OK with it makes me think that grandparents and parents are on the same page here, so I don't see the fact that they (grandparents) didn't say anything the day before as being rude.

OP, are you asking because the son has said something to you about the situation?


JoieGirl7

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7335
Re: Kids and Free Labor
« Reply #100 on: September 27, 2013, 05:08:18 PM »
I think she was asking because it is a pet peeve of hers.

The question of whether a child could be put to work if they were in the care of a babysitter is a much different.  If someone is being paid to watch the child, then the parent would direct what activities were and were not ok.

IOWs, a babysitter could not make the child do dishes for her at home, or help paint a room without it being ok with the parents.

EllenS

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1368
Re: Kids and Free Labor
« Reply #101 on: September 27, 2013, 05:24:39 PM »
The question of whether a child could be put to work if they were in the care of a babysitter is a much different.  If someone is being paid to watch the child, then the parent would direct what activities were and were not ok.

IOWs, a babysitter could not make the child do dishes for her at home, or help paint a room without it being ok with the parents.

Oh, yes indeed! A paid babysitter changes the situation completely.

Hmmmmm

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6435
Re: Kids and Free Labor
« Reply #102 on: September 27, 2013, 05:42:54 PM »
The question of whether a child could be put to work if they were in the care of a babysitter is a much different.  If someone is being paid to watch the child, then the parent would direct what activities were and were not ok.

IOWs, a babysitter could not make the child do dishes for her at home, or help paint a room without it being ok with the parents.

Oh, yes indeed! A paid babysitter changes the situation completely.

I compeletely agree with this. I'd be very upset if a paid babysitter was having my child to anything more than picking up for themselves. But this was a grandchild living for 2 to 3 months with their grandparents and effectively taking on the guardianship role.

Onyx_TKD

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1340
Re: Kids and Free Labor
« Reply #103 on: September 27, 2013, 07:25:27 PM »
I think that its an ideal opportunity honestly.  The skills that this kid could learn would be very valuable down the line not only in getting a summer job when he's old enough but not having to hire a handyman to do household tasks.

Or he could decide he hated it so much he will never pick up another tool in his life and then either always hire someone or let it fall apart if he can't afford it.

That he chooses to waste a valuable opportunity does not negate the fact that it has value.  Most kids hate going to school, but I rarely see that being used as a reason not to go.

Deciding that one dislikes a task enough to pay others to do it is not "wast[ing] a valuable opportunity." That's very judgmental. Also, not every experience of performing a new task is a "valuable opportunity." Many can be, but if the experience is unpleasant enough to turn someone off from an activity they would otherwise have enjoyed, I'd say it's quite the opposite.

For example:
When I had my first car, my older brother offered to walk me through changing the oil. Although I appreciated the offer, I found changing my own oil to be a miserable experience and decided I'd much rather pay for an oil change in the future. As it happened, when the next oil change rolled around, my very kind brother offered to change my oil along with his own, since he didn't mind the task. Afterwards, he said he hated changing the oil on my car due to its design (things he hadn't realized while walking me through the process), and he completely understood my decision to have professional oil changes. In the future when I have a different car, I'll probably try again. But that experience was valuable for only two reasons: A) because I enjoyed spending the time with my brother, who loved teaching his baby sister about cars, and B) it taught me that changing the oil on that car wasn't remotely worth my time and discomfort. Fortunately for me, my brother realized that it was my car that was the main problem--otherwise, it would probably have turned me off from ever doing my own oil changes again.

The child in the OP apparently didn't enjoy the time spent working with the grandparents, so if the experience does turn him off from future DIY work, I don't really see how it was particularly valuable. And if the experience was so unpleasant that he's willing to pay to avoid ever doing it again, then I don't see how that implies any fault with the child.

nolechica

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6170
Re: Kids and Free Labor
« Reply #104 on: September 27, 2013, 07:38:12 PM »
Work deserves money regardless of age.

Or, at least, a reward of some sort. Being put to do heavy work for someone other than your parents, with no reward for what you do, is going to cause you to become very jaded.

The child is effectively being asked to pay for his own care, rather than his parents, which does not seem particularly fair.


Exactly, but the reward for this work would need to be expensive, so a check would be faster.  I doubt he just did one day's work.