Entitlement. It’s something we’ve all experienced at least once in our lives. We have done all the “right” things, said all the “right” things, so we deserve what we think we should get.
Therein lies the problem. We deserve it. Ergo, we’re entitled to it.
My grandfather was fond of saying, “The world doesn’t owe you a living, or anything else for that matter. You get what you get. Sometimes, if you work hard, you get what you actually want.”
As a kid, this was usually a lesson to learn when it came to doing chores. There’s a difference between chores and jobs. Chores are things you are expected to do, most of the time on a daily or weekly basis, with no renumeration. Jobs are things your caretakers have no desire to do themselves, but still need doing, so if you do it instead, you get some money.
My grandfather was a big believer in chores and jobs. “There’s no such thing as a free lunch”, he often said as well. He provided everything I could possibly need, and a lot of things I wanted, so in turn, I completed chores. Tit for tat.
My grandparents lived on a large farm, though by the time I came along, it was no longer a working farm. There were stables for people to rent for their horses, a tack room, and a number of barns. The barns were pretty much storage and you didn’t want to go in them. Rats, yuck. The entire property, minus the pastures, was filled with different gardens and ponds.
Weeding was a job. Picking vegetables was a chore. See the difference?
These days, it seems that many kids are raised with the mindset that everything is a job. They are paid for things, by their parents, that should be considered a chore. Cleaning their rooms, washing dishes, helping around the house in general. No, I wouldn’t expect my kids to clean the entire house, cut the grass, take out the trash, wash my car, do all the laundry, etc. while I sat on my ass and did nothing; or without some type of payment. But the usual things that a person does in order to keep their area clean, that’s a big resounding hell yes.
You’re not using them as slave labor, you’re teaching them how to be independent, to realize that nothing is free. That hard work is something to be proud of.
My youngest son has a friend that just moved into his own place for the first time at the age of 18. This boy has no idea how to run a house. He was never made to clean, cook, or even do his own laundry. His mom did everything for him, then left for greener pastures as soon as he turned 18. They moved to a hippie compound up north and left him to fend for himself.
But they never taught him how.
This boy texts me regularly, asking how to do things. I am always amazed at what he doesn’t know. “Mrs Chloe, where do I get quarters to use in the laundry room?” Actual question. He had no idea where to get change. I shouldn’t be surprised, this was the kid that when he would come over to our house, couldn’t believe that my son, Max, had chores.
I heard him ask Max, after his 2nd visit, why did he have to do so much around the house. Max told him, “I don’t really do that much. I just have to keep my room and bathroom clean. Take my laundry to the laundry room. And take out the trash. It takes like 20 minutes if I do everything at once.” This kid was in shock, no one ever asked nor expected him to lift a finger at home. His clean clothes magically appeared in his dresser. His room would magically clean itself while he was at school. And the trash was never overflowing.
It saddens and angers me that people are sending new adults out into the world completely unprepared. And wholly entitled. They’ve been taught that someone will always pick up the slack, always take care of business, and it doesn’t have to be them.
Teaching your children responsibility, manners, and a good work ethic is your “chore” as a parent. You may not get paid for it with money, but the benefits the world experiences, and your child, are worth more than their weight in gold.