Here is the place to post any simple or complex questions you may have about any aspect of life in Cambodia and beyond without fear of being told 'That question has been asked 100 times before.'
I imagine it's not really khmer culture for this to happen... it's a western thing (and perhaps only an american one for all i know). when i was raised i received a small weekly allowance for preforming certain chores, doing my schoolwork without having to be told 100 times, etc.
i've mentioned before our nephew is here with us while going to school... 17 year old kid who definitely helps out around the house without having to be asked (noticed recently that he washes both mine and my wife's motos every morning before we're up and active) etc. I'm sure based on his excitement when we told him it's his way of repaying us for bringing him here to school...
but he's a 17 year old kid... with no money.
my question is, would giving him a small allowance be seen as inappropriate or offensive in some way? was going to bring it up with the wife, but thought i'd check here first and get feedback from those who have more experience first in case it's something that could somehow would be seen negatively by her as well. (she's already a little frustrated with me after trying to teach me khmer all day yesterday and all i can remember from it is 5 consonants and 4 vowels...)
Do you think it's a good idea to teach him that you can get paid to do work, could upset the apple cart here and destabilise the country.
hahaha, good point. perhaps i should make him falsify something for me first...
Definitly a good idea. Start off by giving $1 every day then as he learns to manage the money raise it and pay it every week. On the start of the new year, buy him a 2013 diary and make [ show him ] write every thing he gets and spends in the diary. If it's not written in the diary, deduct it from the next payment. Later in life when he runs a business he will apreaciate what he has learnt from you.
I am just a nobody
But one day I will be a somebody really important
And you all will be wanting to shake my hand
Hey you, you are my friend.
In the Western world though, kids stop getting allowances when they get jobs or go off to college or find a way to support themselves.
You start giving a 17 year old Cambodian kid an allowance and it may never stop. He would have no incentive to get a job or move out if he's getting paid just to do household chores.
Give him an allowance, and make him track it. Definitely a good idea.
You could also come up with fancy incentives for him, and could also help him open a savings account with a small deposit. Will be nice for him to see free money coming in from the interest (I'm aware the rates are not the best they've ever been).
"Life is too important to take seriously."
Move to Cambodia
Sure, but in the western world even young teenagers can get odd jobs mowing lawns, washing cars, babysitting, working as glass collectors in bars etc. Later on it's easy enough for them to get a proper job and move out. Here it's pretty much impossible for young people to make much money, which often forces them into dependency on their parents till they are married or later.
Phnom Penh Places
September 2013 Poem:
Romantic Cambodia's dead and gone,
It's with McKinley in the grave.
he sounds like a good kid. doing things without being asked or told.... that's initiative...
and that's rare in most 17 year olds anywhere.
i agree that he should be rewarded for such actions.
Why, oh why, didn't I take the Blue pill?
It is the kids duty to do chores. Just like it is the parents duty to care for the kids. If you want to give the kid some money that is fine but an allowance no. If the kid wants something buy it for them or intermittently give out some money and say you do good around the house. I have never heard of Khmers giving allowances.
thanks for all of the input gang. i intentionally held off commenting for a while to get a variety of input... so i'll address them all at once:
see, in my childhood this was my grandfathers view on it as well... even later in life he likes to joke about how i saved an entire summer, as well as doing odd jobs for neighbors/relatives when i could, to buy a game system (original NES) i wanted. where he insists that had i not insisted on an allowance he would have just bought me the things i wanted for doing well.
a) i don't think he would have, either he'd have decided it was a "waste of money" or i'd have been to afraid of that judgement to ask for it... once it was MY money i could spend it as i like without having to get approval on the purchase.
b) i think i valued it more as "mine" because i felt i'd earned that money i used to get it.
i agree that doing chores is a duty, and i'm not surprised about khmers not normally doing it. i think many of them feel that keeping the kid fed is the payment enough, and in a lot of cases they're right. i also feel that understanding the value of spending money you "earned" in some way is important. and like LIT said, the kid is really going above and beyond with initiative doing chores he's not even asked or expected to do (i get my bike pretty damn messy).
i was also have been considering encouraging him to start a moto/car wash "business" on our street in the mornings. along the lines of mowing lawns/etc. every morning i see some of our neighbors come out and was their motos and SUVs... i figure if he charged $1 or 2 each and came and did it for them he might drum up some business and it would be good experience, working for money. just so long as his school work doesn't suffer because of it. figured it could be a good chance for him to learn a lot of things, including how to deal with investors and obligations as the initial bucket/sponge/soap/etc i would have to buy for him... as a loan he'd be expected to pay back according to a payment schedule. it's small money, but the principles still work out.
we're talking a couple of bucks a week... not a salary.
this is definitely a great idea.
and thanks again to everyone for the input/opinions/etc. new territory for me taking care of a kid... especially one that's half grown.
Now that made me laugh out loud.
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