AIBU? 14 year old and job/chores

(39 Posts)
Noodlesg Tue 14-Jun-16 10:19:31

My son is almost 15, during summer break this year my husband and I only have 1 week off during which we will going away with the kids.

My Son is a very academic, sensible boy, my husband feels he is still too young to be left in the house alone from 8am - 3pm for 4 weeks of the holiday. (hes away with us one week and has football camp another leaving 4 weeks)

My mum lives a couple of streets away and will be looking after my daughter.

I've persuaded my husband my son can be left with my mum coming round a few times during the day (which she is happy to do)

HOWEVER my son has never had a job (I worked from age 13) and i'm worried he turns into an entitled lazy teenager. One of my friends owns a stall in a local indoor market, its dingy and a bit rough. My friend has kindly offered to give my son a job @ £3.87 per hour 5 days a week 4 hrs a day. My husband doesn't want him to work there as there are "too many dodgy characters frequent there" and my son visibly turned his nose up at it (my friend thankfully wasn't there when we discussed it).

I'm furious!!! ive said if he doesn't do it I will be leaving quite a long list of chores for him to do while we are at work, a couple of hours worth (loading unloading dishwasher, cleaning floors, walking dog, doing any shopping etc) and I expect to be coming home to a clean and tidy house.

My husband thinks im being harsh, he thinks as my son is well behaved and not given us a moments worry we should let him "enjoy his holidays" I think he could get up and have all that done by 11 am and have the entire rest of the day to play games consoles/football/whatever.

I think he needs to be equipped for adult life and I don't think 14/15 is too young to start taking on a little more responsibility.

so.... am I being a bit harsh and unreasonable or is what I am asking for totally reasonable?

Patterkiller Tue 14-Jun-16 10:31:45

I would say five days a week is a bit much even at 4 hours. It would mean he can't organize anything for a day with friends.

Why not compromise with 3 days at the market and a few chores to complete weekly.

As for leaving him alone he is quite old enough.

I always trust my dcs unless they give me cause not too.

Onfleek Tue 14-Jun-16 10:41:42

Wow. I think you are being ridiculous. Each to their own though.

Noodlesg Tue 14-Jun-16 10:44:41

do you think I am expecting too much? whats your take on it onfleek? really interested to hear another perspective

katemiddletonsnudeheels Tue 14-Jun-16 10:44:57

I'm afraid I agree with Onfleek

There is a reason we have child labour laws in this country. Working on the market for less than £4 p/h is illegal and contravenes all sorts of laws.

You have a well behaved and high achieving son. Demanding he works for practically nothing to suit your idea of what he should be will almost guarantee a resentful young man in a few years.

Noodlesg Tue 14-Jun-16 10:46:42

errrrm its honestly not illegal www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates promise!!

Noodlesg Tue 14-Jun-16 10:48:01

in fact as an under 16 he is not even entitled to nmw but my friend was happy to pay him that regardless

katemiddletonsnudeheels Tue 14-Jun-16 10:48:31

So does that not suggest a degree of taking advantage, OP?

It is very, very rare for someone of your sons age to be working. I have never known this bar the odd paper round in all my years teaching. Mostly, children leave in Y11 then commence some sort of McJob.

NatalieRushman Tue 14-Jun-16 10:51:46

I'm afraid I also think you're being a bit unreasonable. Your ds already sounds like a nice boy, and you're just putting more work onto him. I've never known a single teenager under the age of 18 to get a job -especially not a 5 days a week one! I'm with your DH on this.

AristotleTheGreat Tue 14-Jun-16 10:52:53

The issue is that you are comparing what you were doing as a teenager to what your ds is doing.
You were working and you expect him to do so. I suspect you see him turning his nose up to a job as being lazy and ungrateful.

In reality, if he has pocket money, the stuff he needs, why do you've let him to want to work?

It reads like if being at home on your own 'doing nothing' is the height of lazyness and cannot be accepted. But being at grand pat patents is ok. Or doing a football club. None of which are working either. But somehow it's not a lazy thing to do?

I think you need to relax. If you think that your ds having a small job is important, have a chat with him about it. Include it into his normal day to day life.
And then look at this summer hols and decide what would be the best organisation for him. Enough independence but not too much. Work is to the only answer to it.

NatalieRushman Tue 14-Jun-16 10:52:54

However, I don't think that he needs to be looked after in the summer! Your DH is being unreasonable there. He should absolutely be able to look after himself at 14.

AristotleTheGreat Tue 14-Jun-16 10:56:33

Btw I k ow some teenagers who have been working from about 14~15yo.
Usually starting with a paper round. But they also were told that it was the only way to have some pocket money. The incentive was there.
The only person I know who have worked 4goura each day during the hols is DH and that's only because his parents were farmers and it was very much expected from him at that time.

WankersHacksandThieves Tue 14-Jun-16 10:58:57

I have 15 and 14 year olds, this will be the 2nd summer they've stayed in alone. I expect them to get up, washed and dressed, feed themselves and clear up after themselves and maybe empty/fill the dishwasher or hang out a load of laundry or something - just small chores. I also expect them to get out and get some fresh air at some point.

I think you are being a bit over the top OP. Yes, he will have to work and earn a living at some point but unless he is motivated to do it now then I wouldn't push it. Are you embarrassed to go back to your friend and say he doesn't want to so you are taking out your anger on him?

Livedandlearned Tue 14-Jun-16 11:00:31

A teenager working is not uncommon, I encourage my son to work and he enjoys the money and his self esteem has definitely increased since starting work. However he only works on Saturdays, and gets £25 for 6 hours.

Maybe you need to strike a balance and let him have days where he does a few chores, but nothing too time consuming and days where he does his own thing.

frenchfancy Tue 14-Jun-16 11:03:28

At 15 it should be his choice alone whether he wants to work or not (assuming work is legal and safe). You can chose how much pocket money he gets but it is up to him if he wants to earn more. Working on a market could be great experience.

He is old enough to be left alone during the holidays, surely people don't have child care for their 15 yr olds. Not unreasonable to expect some chores to be done, but unreasonable of you to use those chores as some sort of punishment for laziness.

BigSandyBalls2015 Tue 14-Jun-16 11:04:58

I have two 15 year olds and they've been left alone during school hols for about the last 3 years! I understand that's its probably a bit different as there are two of them, but at nearly 15 your son is more than able to stay at home alone! Particularly as it's just until 3pm. Mine were/are left 8am to 6pm, sometimes later.

My DDs do a combination of things:

- loafing about at home all day
- visiting friends
- having friends round (I like to know who beforehand)
- going out for the day

They rarely get out of bed before about 11am. They don't do many chores but I do ask that they clear up after themselves. I have been known to get rather ragey if I get in from work and there's piles of crap everywhere.

Your son sounds like he's doing well, let him enjoy is holidays. They have so much pressure at school now compared to when we were there.

Noodlesg Tue 14-Jun-16 11:08:54

my friend will be totally fine, he knew I was giving my son options of staying at home and doing some chores or working, and unemployment being what it is sadly my friend has a lot of other people wanting the job so that is no issue. I was more annoyed at my son's sense of entitlement at thinking working 4 days for £60! was "not really worth it" (sorry it was working 4 days out of the 5 the stall is open) I guess as someone has already mentioned he has everything he needs so theres no real incentive.

If he had just said he'd preferred to do the chores as he can choose when to do them and it gives him more freedom id have been fine with that.

He could technically get married or leave home in just over a year (although I know that being a bit dramatic and wont happen) but I did think now is a good time for him to take on some more responsibilities.

My husband thinks as my son will probably stay at home till nearer 20 (he is currently planning to go to university in our home town) that there is no rush for him to learn these life skills.

fieldfare Tue 14-Jun-16 11:09:47

I don't think a teenager working is that uncommon tbh, I'm aware it's very different to 20 years ago when I had two part-time jobs on the go during the holidays but they should still be motivated to do something.

Have you asked your son why he turned his nose up at the job? Was it the job itself, the location or the seemingly small hourly amount. The wages equate to approx £300 for the four weeks, that's not to be sniffed at.

At nearly 15 he should be perfectly able to look after himself at home. I don't think you're being unreasonable to ask him to have a couple of chores done during the time you're out. I would ask my 13 yr old Dd to unload/reload the dishwasher, run the vacuum around and walk the dog. Nothing too arduous but it's all helpful.

WankersHacksandThieves Tue 14-Jun-16 11:11:25

They rarely get out of bed before about 11am

I'd be happier if mine did this smile They get up between 7am and 8am regardless of whether it's the weekend or holidays and if I didn't tell them to be washed, dressed, fed and go outside at some point together with clearing up after themselves and maybe the odd chore, they'd sit on their computers on-line with friends all day.

So, I let them enjoy their hols but try to give some structure to the day. If they slept to 11 or later, they'd have less time on screen so I wouldn't bother so much. smile

WankersHacksandThieves Tue 14-Jun-16 11:14:57

tbf, I don't think either of mine would be averse to a small job but there is really nothing available round our way and transport is an issue too. By the time they took a couple of buses or the train to get somewhere, that would be half their wages gone.

BabyGanoush Tue 14-Jun-16 12:39:56

I think you feel your DS should do exactly as you did at 13, but why really?

If he's a good kid, I'd let him enjoy his time off and maybe just ask him to do a few normal chores (not spending hours cleaning tbh)

Left my 13 yr old home alone last week for a day (inset) and asked him to walk to the shop and buy milk/ bread, tidy his bedroom, and walk the dog at 3pm. Other thanthat I reckon he spent most of his day on the ps4 and eating pot noodles.

He does jobs for me for money sometimes (clean the car) but I think a structured job at this age is not necessary (unless they want to, and are saving up for something for example)

Peebles1 Tue 14-Jun-16 13:24:03

My 3 all did various little jobs now and then from age 13, with periods of nothing in between. They were given pocket money, but worked for little extras. I encouraged it, but wouldn't have made them if they hadn't liked the sound of something. DD turned a couple of things down.

I think maybe you're partly pissed off at his comment on it 'not being worth it' - that would piss me off too and I'd think 'entitled!' - but I'm sure he isn't. He sounds a good lad from what you say.

AristotleTheGreat Tue 14-Jun-16 14:50:20

But WHY does he have to do some WORK during the Homs though (whether it's chores or work with your friend)?
Is it because in your head, once he is 16 oath he HAS to work, earn some money and show the world you that he is neither entitled not lazy?

Life skills such as knowing how to clean the house or to earn some Money is good. But it doesnt have to be formost of the hols nor does it have to be continuous etc...
And of course working that much gir £60 is not whether it in his eyes. How much work does he needs to do to get the same amount in pocket money?

Noodlesg Tue 14-Jun-16 15:09:49

I guess in my head he needs to learn how to take care of himself, he needs to learn how to work and take direction and I think the life lesson of doing work for money is a valuable one. If he goes to University he might not actually work till 22! We don't do a straight "do These jobs to make money" he gets £60 a month pocket money from his grandparents, we don't give him cash but just buy him stuff as and when and pay for his phone. He tends to walk the dog most days and make me cups of tea and unload /load the dishwasher when asked. Nothing strenuous ;). He's now 6ft and strong ger than me so he's started helping me carry shopping from the car etc. But I guess I just want to make sure he learns a good work ethic which I feel I learned from working part time from a young age and I'd like him to have that valuable lesson too. It's the commitment and the taking direction I think is important.

WankersHacksandThieves Tue 14-Jun-16 15:13:38

He can work when he is at Uni - it's not something you need to learn. I worked from 15 because I didn't get pocket money at all as my parents just didn't have it to give. I have a good work ethic but I would have that anyway as I was brought up seeing my parents go out to work for what they had. My Dss get £30 a month and their phone paid and stuff as and when. they don't spend it so going out to work doesn't really bother them. If it was available then they might.

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