Opinion

Parents shouldn’t pay children for chores

One fall day when I was younger, I came home from school with a burning question.

I burst through the door with enthusiasm and yelled, “Mom, can I have an allowance?”

I remember learning about this allowance concept and it blew my mind. Kids were paid. They were paid to do chores around the house while I did the same things for free. I must have been an idiot to do chores around the house free of charge.

My mother strolled casually into the kitchen. She raised her eyebrows and asked, “You want an allowance, eh?”

“Yes, please,” I said with a smile, not expecting her response.

“I allow you to wear those clothes! I allow you to eat the food I cook. I allow you to live in my home,” she replied in crescendo. “Is that not good enough?”

At the time, I was mortified. Not that I wasn’t used to loud noises, they were the norm in what neighbors had dubbed “the loud house.” I just realized, at that moment, that I was being raised much differently than other American kids.

“No, Mom, that’s good.”

“Good. Go outside and pick the beans, and don’t come inside until you have two baskets full.”

I was upset. I wanted money in return for my services. What I didn’t realize at the time was that my mother did me a favor. Years later, I can look back and appreciate it. I didn’t deserve to be paid.

I needed to pitch in around the house because that’s what a family does. Families do not merely coexist,  they live together as a unit. I’m sure an allowance can teach kids fiscal responsibilities, but so will their first jobs.

It was my duty to take care of the beans, weed the strawberries, wash the dishes, take out the trash, or clean the toilet. I didn’t like it, but it built character.

Today, I earn money at work for doing my job. At home, I work for free because I have to. I didn’t deserve money for chores then and I don’t now.

Edward Burns is a freshman majoring in political science and broadcast journalism.

April 9, 2012

Reporters

Edward Burns


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

It’s the play Miami Hurricanes fans will never forget — and Florida State fans are trying to forget. ...

Miami Hurricanes fans might recall their favorite college football players in past years dreaming of ...

The new quarterback is usually the ones fans gush over. For the University of Miami, last season it ...

Debate all you want, but University of Miami football coach Mark Richt made it clearer than ever Wed ...

Last year, when University of Miami tailback Mark Walton attended the Atlantic Coast Conference Foot ...

UM dining services team earns national recognition for special event catering. ...

From hammerheads to great whites, University of Miami researcher Neil Hammerschlag is a dedicated sp ...

An ACLU report authored by UM sociologists documents racial and ethnic disparities in Miami-Dade Cou ...

Following the summit between Trump and Putin, reaction from politicians, pundits and former intellig ...

A School of Communication associate professor played an important hand—an artistic one!—in World Cup ...

Miami senior Tyler Gauthier was named to the 2018 Fall Watch List for the Rimington Trophy presented ...

Miami junior wide receiver Ahmmon Richards was among those named to the watch list for the 2018 Bile ...

University of Miami junior running back Travis Homer was named a preseason candidate for the Doak Wa ...

Six former Canes competed on NBA Summer League teams, with three averaging at least 10 points per ga ...

Quick Hits gives University of Miami volleyball fans an opportunity to get to know the new student-a ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.