We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I believe that no honest work should be beneath any American. I also believe that all kids should work, and earn their own money. Kids learn more about how to, and how not to, negotiate the world from work than they do from school. Make your mistakes when young, and learn from them, as everybody needs to. Any paid work will do, but the more "menial" the better.
Except for the most spoiled brats who want to hang out during the summer or to be indulged in "enriching experiences," most kids want to work. It's a step towards adulthood and independence, and moping around the house or driving to the beach in the Beemer is a spiritual death for teens - or a sign of spiritual death.
Summer "vacation" is for the teachers. What do kids need a vacation for? They've been in school, for heaven's sake. School isn't "work work," as Whoopi Goldberg did not say. School is a piece of cake, compared to work. It's a delight, a joy, and a privilege - and it sure beats working an industrial loom in New Bedford at age 11. And, heck, teaching is real difficult too, compared to running a business. Right?
That one-in-four is the one with initiative and drive. Watch that one, because if you can make something happen in your teens with all of the forces creating headwinds today, Bravo. Or Brava, as they say in NYC.
Sadly, MOST kids today are "spoiled brats".
My older son is not a "spoiled brat", but has no interest in working. I have made him work for years. He mows the lawn, shovels snow, chops wood, etc. He finds ways to avoid it whenever possible. This is normal, of course, for a kid his age - 6 (just kidding, he's 16).
He loves what he GETS for work. That is, he likes money. But he does not want to work. I was forced to drive him around town, several times, and tell him to fill out applications. Then I had to explain to him that he needed to follow up.
He never did any of this willingly. None of his friends did this, either.
In the end, his friends that are working got their jobs because their parents set them up with something, made a call, or some other similar method.
My son finally got his job. But only because we pulled some strings, and managed to get him an interview. Getting the interview was the key. He got the job. 9 times out of 10 he wasn't even getting to the interview.
All that said, I agree with your view that kids should work, and that they learn from it. But I have not met many kids at all who WANT to work. Even after college, I've interviewed plenty who simply view work as a necessary evil - if they aren't bumped up quickly or soon, they get bored. Often, they are out the door asap rather than putting in a few extra minutes or hours.
There is a huge difference between me at 14 and getting my first job and kids today at 16 (when they are finally allowed to work at most places). I wanted to work, and looked for it. I don't see that much at all today.
Giving who money? My son?
Nope. His allowance ended when he didn't look for work. He's resourceful and is earning money doing odds and ends. Mows the neighbor's lawn when I make him do ours and earns $10. Cleans and fixes friends' sneakers for $20 (kids pay money for this???).
Nothing real steady, but keeps him in the pink.
I've never bought him a thing. We have a deal. If he got all A's, I'd buy him a laptop. He came close but couldn't pull it off. So I amended it and said A's and B+'s and I'd pay half. He got that. Then the rule was "get a C and you lose the laptop". No C's...
He bought his own iPod and iTouch by saving money from the odds and ends he picks up....birthdays, etc.
But I don't give him money.
His younger brother gets an allowance, but he has to do work around the house to earn it, as his brother did. Grumbling reduces the amount they earn(ed).
imo ... the industrial loom crowd is what help make America great, a crowd that knew what less was and seen the potential offered ... today perhaps we no longer see, we expect it given with little to no effort
re "Kids learn more about how to, and how not to, negotiate the world from work than they do from school.'
Amen to that, Barrister.
re 'Summer "vacation" is for the teachers. What do kids need a vacation for? They've been in school, for heaven's sake. School isn't "work work,"
I would say school is harder work than "work". At least it used to be. You are learning everyday and that is not always easy. In addition, you have to master a multitude of skills. More than the little girl in the picture. If that job required skill she would not be there. From looking at the captions of child labor pics at Shorpy's site, I would wager working was easier than school. A lot of kids seemed to prefer it.
My 9 yr old nephew gets on the bus at 7:20 a.m. and is not home until 4:00 pm. That's a 40 hour week in my book.
Work is much for fun than school ever was. Having to sit in a chair all day and do what everyone else did, having to follow orders. Too damn regimented.
I am burning daylight. Better get back to work for 2 or 3 hours.
I don't know about teenagers, but college students these days have it pretty sweet - at least in my major of Comp Sci. The internet makes it easy for undergrads to moonlight during the school year and work full time during the summer charging $25+ an hour. That's a lot of beer and pizza.
What do kids need a vacation for? They've been in school, for heaven's sake. School isn't "work work," as Whoopi Goldberg did not say. School is a piece of cake, compared to work. It's a delight, a joy, and a privilege ...
I loved learning but I really, really hated school. Maybe one class hour out of 50 or so was stimulating.
But I agree fully on jobs. I learned a lot from mine, and my kids benefited greatly from running the checkouts in the local supermarkets.