I'm not sure there's a child alive who likes to do chores, but an 11-year-old German boy voiced his dissent in an extreme manner recently when he got police involved in the matter. After his mom asked him to help clean the house, he called the emergency line and said he was being subjected to "forced labor."
That's one gutsy, and perhaps lazy, kid. According to the BBC, he told the emergency operator, "I have to work all day long. I haven't any free time." An officer asked the boy if he knew what forced labor is. He indicated that yes he did, then he put his mother on the line as instructed.
His mother told them he'd been threatening for awhile, and he finally called after being asked to pick up some paper from the floor. "He plays all day long and when told to tidy up what he's done, he calls it forced labor," she said.
Kids will probably never like chores, but as parents, we know they're important for our children to learn self-confidence, responsibility, and future skills. I'm not good at making mine do them regularly, mostly because it's easier to do the job (right) myself. I know I need to let them do them more often, however, because I don't want it to be such a big deal when they're older that they actually think it's grounds for police involvement like this boy did. I can't help but think if this woman had made him do chores consistently throughout his life, he wouldn't be so strongly opposed to them now ... or at least I hope that works.
No matter what we do, as our kids grow and become more independent, they're going to find more fault with what we do and what we ask them to do. I'm sure there are plenty of other things mine would like to report me for now, such as:
Cruel and unusual punishment in the form of making them listen to country music. I can only take so much Laurie Berkner.
Imprisonment The way my daughter howls when she's in timeout, the neighbors may actually report me for this one.
Theft I totally steal bites of their food when they're not looking. I usually get caught.
Breech of Contract Sometimes I make big promises that can't be kept. Just because I said we'd go to the park after school doesn't mean we can if there's a tsunami bearing down on us. It's still my fault for not letting them do what I said I would though.
Fraud Yes, sometimes I try to skip chapters in books, or speed up a game with a few little tweaks, and I've been known to omit some facts here and there, such as what's really in those potatoes. Sue me.
If only there was a mommy jail for such offenses (a nice plush one of course), I just might encourage them to call. I could use a little break
What would your kids call the police on you for?
Image via woodleywonderworks/Flickr