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|Fri, 07-02-2010 - 12:16pm|
Teenager is two months from turning 14. All on his own, he's started helping out at a local agricultural type business doing things like filling bags. It's his best friend's family business and the best friend helps out in the same way - long tradition in this rural community though the child in question is not part of that family. He has helped out here and there in the past, very infrequently. Now that school is out he is getting himself up early Saturday, showering, eating breakfast and heading over to the business to help out with his friend, showing a great deal of initiative, and responsibility. Teen works from 4-6 hours one day a week and is paid cash, and one other local kid does this with them, then they all come back to the teens house to swim, ride bikes and hang out so there is a social aspect to this (he's working with his friends for a while, then taking it easy with his friends the rest of the day). He's not obligated to work, if he has other plans and doesn't feel like he doesn't need to go over there, he's only going because he wants to (this is the parents observation as the child does not always go when something more interesting comes up).
State law says no child under 14 years old can work, a child over 14 years old can work as long as it's not a school day and no more than 4 hours per day, with a permit. Obviously the state is not keen on people being paid under the table.
Do you think a tradition of children working on farms and in agricultural businesses say, one 6-hour day a week in the summers is bad in general, bad only because it's against a state law, or not bad at all? Would you intervene and tell the child he can't do it anymore?
Ten Rules for Being Human
Edited 7/2/2010 1:07 pm ET by harmony08