This week Maggie asked us about; Chores and Allowances
I grew up in Pakistan where household help is very readily available. So when I was young there were no chores assigned to me or my brothers.
When I grew to be a teenager, I was supposed to handle my own laundry, ironing and was supposed to keep my room tidy. I didn’t have any responsibility regarding other household chores.
I kept on looking after my own room and my stuff till my stepmother had to undergo breast surgery. At that time I was around 18 and was waiting for admission to med school. It was the first time that I did regular cooking for the family. My grandmother would tell me how to cook some dish and I would follow her directions and produce food for the family. One thing I never could do was to make roti. It was either too thick, too thin, not round, or had holes in it. It was a temporary situation and that was the only time I had to take responsibility for the meals.
We always got pocket money. First, it was Rs 5 per month. It was enough to buy 2 books per month. All three of, the older siblings would use our money to buy books. It gradually kept on increasing as I grew up. There were no conditions linked to getting our pocket money. In fact, since I don’t have a job, my husband still gives me pocket money! I think it’s very sweet of him.
When I became a mom, I didn’t give any chores to my kids either. They could fend on their own but it was voluntary. When my daughter moved to America for her studies, her son was 5 yo. She taught him to be independent and also to help around the home. But he still doesn’t get any allowance. His mom takes care of his needs and wants!
After reading the responses to this prompt, I realized the difference between eastern culture and western. Over here the people who can afford, have household help and their kids don’t learn to manage on their own. There is someone to do their chores for them. But in western culture, kids are made responsible early in life and hence grow up with the knowledge of how to manage their own affairs. I admire this trait and feel that it should be the way all kids are brought up.
Written for Throwback Thursday, hosted by Maggie and Lauren