Spoiled Son Demands Money For Doing His Chores
A teenage boy demands that his parents pay him for doing his household chores and learns a painful lesson.
Wesley pushed his plate away. "I'm sick of meatloaf," he complained. "Can't you make anything else?" he asked his mother.
His mom looked at him indignantly. "We had roast chicken yesterday, hamburgers the day before, fish on Friday..."
Wesley sniffed derisively. "Yeah, yeah...Whatever!" and got up from the table.
"Wesley," said his mother. "Please rinse your plate and put it in the dishwasher."
"Why should I?" asked Wesley with typical teen arrogance. "I'm not your slave!"
"My slave?" gasped his mother, "How can helping out make you my slave?"
"You don't pay me, do you?" asked Wesley triumphantly. "Work without pay is slavery!"
Wesley's dad frowned. "We support you, son," he pointed out. "We house you, feed you, clothe you, and educate you..."
"That's your duty and my right!" said Wesley. "And the law says you have to do it too, but I don't have to do a thing!"
Wesley's mom changed color. "I see! So we have duties and you have rights? Is that what you believe? What about your duty to help, to do your chores?"
"I'm not your slave," repeated Wesley arrogantly. "If you want me to do things around here, you'd better pay me!"
Wesley's mom jumped up but his father laid a gently restraining hand on her arm. "Pay you?" asked the father calmly. "And how much would you want for doing your chores?"
Wesley smiled triumphantly. "I've thought about that. For taking out the trash, $1, for washing dishes, $2, walking the dog, $4, cleaning my room, $5, and for cleaning the yard and mowing the lawn, $10. And you're lucky I'm not demanding back pay."
"Never!" cried Wesley's mom angrily, but his father smiled calmly.
"I agree, Wesley. We will pay you for your work according to your demands. From now on you are a man, and we will treat you as such."
Wesley puffed out his chest. "It's about time you showed me some respect!" he crowed, and his mother opened her mouth to utter an angry retort. Once again Wesley's dad smiled sweetly and restrained her.
"Well, son, we start tomorrow, OK? I'll put up a chart with your chores, and you write down what you've done on a daily basis. At the end of each week, say Friday afternoons, you get paid. What do you think?"
Wesley smiled happily. "That's just perfect, dad!" Wesley walked out feeling on top of the world, without realizing he was about to have one of the worse weeks of his life.
A family works as a unit to make their collective lives better.
Wesley's mom turned to his father. "Rick, how could you? He's disrespectful, lazy, and greedy. He needs to learn,..."
Rick was smiling, and it wasn't a nice smile. "Don't worry, Martha, I have a plan, and our dear little boy is in for a very unpleasant experience. We're going to teach him a lesson!"
The next day, Wesley walked into the house after football practice. It had been a long day at school and he was starving. "Hey mom!" he said. "What's for dinner?"
"Turkey pot-pie with sweet potatoes and peas," his mother said smiling sweetly.
"Cool!" cried Wesley. "I'm starving!" He saw that his dad had put up a chart on the wall and he immediately walked over and filled in walking the dog and cleaning his room. Later he would take out the trash.
That's $9 already, though Wesley happily. I'm going to be rich! An hour later the scent of the food lured him down to the kitchen again where he found his mother and his father having dinner.
"Mom!" he cried indignantly. "You didn't call me and I told you I was starving!"
Wesley's mom smiled, and his father replied: "But Wesley, now that you are earning your own money, you will have to support yourself. If you want your mother to cook for you, you will have to pay her."
"PAY HER?" screamed Wesley, "I'm not going to pay her!"
"Well, I'm afraid you'll have to dip into your savings and order take away, then." Wesley's mother said still smiling.
"But...but...That's not fair!" screamed Wesley and stormed upstairs. He ordered a pizza and it cost him $15 plus the delivery fee and the tip. Wesley worked out that he'd have to work three whole days to pay for that pizza. Being an independent man was expensive!
The next morning he came down for breakfast to find his mother making bacon and eggs and it smelled delicious. "Hi mom," he said sweetly, "can I have my eggs over easy?"
"Sure, son!" she smiled. "That will be $6 for breakfast!"
"You're charging me for breakfast?" cried Wesley angrily. "That's not fair!"
But Wesley was in for another surprise. "Dad," Wesley said, "our coach said we have to have new team jerseys and it will cost $69,99."
"I see," said his dad smiling. "But why are you telling me this?"
"Well, so you can give me the money!" said Wesley.
"But, Wesley," his dad said, still smiling, "now that you're earning money, you pay for your own expenses, and that includes clothes. I thought you knew that."
"I don't have that kind of money!" cried Wesley. "Where am I supposed to get $70?"
"Save it up from your what you earn, of course. It's what we do!" dad said.
Wesley was stunned. Not only would he have to feed himself, but he'd also have to buy his own clothes? This wasn't what he'd imagined when he'd demanded payment for his chores. "Well, OK," he said. "Listen, dad, could you give me a ride to school? I'm a bit late..."
"Sure, son!" his dad smiled. "That will be $5.50."
"You're going to charge me for a ride to school?" Wesley gasped.
"Sure, after all, you'd pay a taxi, wouldn't you?" his dad pointed out reasonably.
"But you're my DAD!" cried Wesley. "And you're charging me?"
"Oh Wesley, dear," said his mother sweetly. "That reminds me! That will be $12.50 for washing and ironing your clothes."
Wesley walked to school and was late. At lunchtime, he ate the cafeteria food with great gusto. He wondered when he'd taste his mother's meatloaf again, or her mac and cheese, or her amazing Irish stew...
That night, Wesley came down at dinnertime looking despondent. His parents were having dinner and it smelled delicious. Wesley's stomach rumbled. "Mom, dad?" he said quietly. "Can we talk?"
"Sure son," said his father. "What's on your mind?"
"I just wanted to say I'm sorry about that payment thing. I guess I never thought about everything you two do for me every day, and you never ask for anything in return."
"We were hoping you'd realize that, Wesley. Everything we do for you, we do out of love, not obligation or duty," his mother said.
"I know, mom, I'm so sorry," Wesley whispered, and his eyes filled with tears.
Wesley's dad got up and put his arms around him. "Son, in this family we do all we can to help each other, to make all our lives easier and better. That's what being a family is all about, and we were hoping you'd understand that."
Wesley's mom gave him a hug too and said, "So how about some dinner? I made cottage pie and green beans -- your favorite!"
That night, Wesley had one of the nicest evenings ever with his parents, and he learned one of the most important lessons: to appreciate all that his parents do for him and to do his part in helping his family.
What can we learn from this story?
1. Love doesn't demand payment.
2. A family works as a unit to make their collective lives better.
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