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What things did you have to do for your parents as a kid?

Puppmom

Ideal_Rock
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My girlfriend and I were just talking about the things our parents had us do as kids that we realize now were totally inappropriate. We had a good laugh about it but I would never have my kids do some of the things our parents did. I guess times have changed! …or maybe I’m just uptight.

My example – my parents had us go to the corner store and buy them cigarettes from the time we were about 5. It required crossing the street which I was only permitted to do on my own during the cigarette run. When we got to school and were taught that smoking was bad for you, we tried protesting to no avail. By the time I was about 10, the laws had become more strict and selling cigarettes to minors was a no-no. Do you think that made my parents get off their lazy buns and get their own cigarettes? Nope – they would send me to the store with a hand-written note telling the shop owner they had her permission to sell me cigarettes!

What things did your parents have you do for them that, looking back, you never should have been doing as a young child?

FWIW, I’m pretty sure I didn’t suffer any permanent harm as a result of my parents making me buy them cigarettes. Now the second hand smoke…well, that’s a different story!
 

ChloeTheGreat

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Re: What things did you have to do for your parents as a kid

Well, it wasn't inappropriate, but if I wanted extra money for something, my dad would make me give him a foot rub. Yuck! Dad feet are the worst...but it was worth every penny!
 

lliang_chi

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Re: What things did you have to do for your parents as a kid

Hm, I can't really think of anything in terms of errands/chores. I remember when I was in grade school, we used to bike to the 7/Eleven and buy milk. The store was maybe a mile away and along the way there were some pretty busy streets. I remember also when we were in grade school, we (me, my brother and sister) used to go fishing all by ourselves for hours at a canal maybe 3/4 miles away. We also used to bike to the library by ourselves, maybe a mile away. This is all stuff I couldn't imagine parents doing these days. :)
 

NewEnglandLady

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Re: What things did you have to do for your parents as a kid

I grew up on a farm and when I was old enough to reach the pedals and see over the steering wheel, my dad would have me drive the grain truck from field to field when he was harvesting. He also had me on a tractor on my own at a young age, but it's not terribly uncommon to see a kid on a tractor in rural farm areas. I actually think having me mow the grass (which I loved to do as a kid) was more dangerous.

Most of the dangerous things I did as a child (catching poisonous snakes, ice skating on not-so-frozen ponds, floating down flooded rivers, etc.) my parents DIDN'T know about! :)
 

Madam Bijoux

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Re: What things did you have to do for your parents as a kid

I got a quarter for every dandelion I pulled up, but I had to get the entire root.
 
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Re: What things did you have to do for your parents as a kid

Uhhh, I was supposed to pick up dog poop but that quickly ended when I started dry-heaving.

Honestly, we never did too much. My mom is a control freak who cleans like crazy, so...
When we got older we had pool duties (cleaning, getting leaves out) but that didn't take long and was worth the entire day of baking.. er, relaxing in the sun.


You would think that the lack of chores I had would've made me lazy. Well, I'm a lazy control freak gal who loves to clean- so go figure.

I also didn't have a lot of chores because I was REQUIRED to have a job from the age of 16.. I think I worked 15-20hrs a week during my entire high school life. It absolutely sucked. I would get out of school, go to work, be home by 9:30 and start my homework then. What parent actually thinks that's ok??? ugh. My two younger brothers were not forced to work thankfully. Ok that was way off topic.
 

Puppmom

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Re: What things did you have to do for your parents as a kid

NEL, good point. The things I did that my parents didn't know about were worse than the things they had me do.

Bean, interesting. I WASN'T permitted to have a job until I graduated from high school. I guess my parents needed me around to run their errands. :lol:
 

somethingshiny

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Re: What things did you have to do for your parents as a kid

We had lots of chores when I was a kid. By the time I was 8, I was responsible for using a scrub brush on the floors every Sat. By the time I was 12, I was responsible for cleaning the fridge out once a week too.

As far as age-inappropriateness, I was babysitting my baby sisters when I was 10 yrs old. One was a newborn and I also had my 4 yr old sister to care for. This included cleaning the house and making dinner.

Also, in TX, it was legal to serve a minor if they had a parent with them. My dad would just order me a drink when I was 13-14 and expect me to drink it.
 

isaku5

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Re: What things did you have to do for your parents as a kid

From the time I was about eight years old, I did all the grocery shopping from a list my mother had written out. Any other errands were arranged beforehand so that I could be the messenger all over town.

At home, dusting was my job as well as buffing and polishing the hardwood floors. My mom had cleaned and put wax on them and then it was my turn.

After meals, we both cleaned off the table, she washed and I dried the dishes. After all had been put away, it was my job to wipe all the counter space and clean the sink.

At that time, I think my allowance amounted to fifty cents per week. :mrgreen: which I usually spent on comic books (a complete waste of money according to my mother).

As a teen, ironing was added to my list.

Fun!! WOW! :wavey:
 

Glitz

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Re: What things did you have to do for your parents as a kid

I remember going to the corner store with a written note to buy cigarettes too! Besides the normal chores like setting the table before meals, and helping with the dishes after, I can recall that cleaning the bathroom was also my job around the house. Another odd job that I would have to do was to hand wash all the delicates, including my mothers bra's! I was also forced to find my own job (at 15) to buy my own clothes and contribute to the household, which included paying them $20 a week for gas money to take me to school and pick me up from work (which was on my dads way to work anyways).
 

bee*

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Re: What things did you have to do for your parents as a kid

Thinking back, I must have been such a lazy kid-I don't remember being asked to do much. We'd load and empty the dishwasher and keep our rooms tidy and that was about all we were asked to do.
 

swingirl

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Re: What things did you have to do for your parents as a kid

My friend used to give her dad a carton of cigarettes for Christmas! Her mom would buy them and write my friend's name on the tag.

Her dad was always so pleased!!
 

partgypsy

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Re: What things did you have to do for your parents as a kid

I guess the oddest things were my sister and I were responsible for making all the beds. All of them, so we had to make our brothers beds. At some point we rebelled. But to this day I can't sleep in an unmade bed. We were also set on ironing. However my Dad had strict standards for how his shirts were to be ironed (no wrinkles, the amount of starch on the collar) that we apparently could not meet, so we were demoted from that job. For awhile my brother's girlfriend ironed my Dad's shirts!

The funniest thing was when I was little (8,9?) my Dad showed me how to make his scotch and water (how many ice cubes, what shade it should be) so when he got home from work I could make and serve his drink to him when he was relaxing in his easy chair. It sounds like terrible parenting but at the time I thought it was great fun!
 

mrscushion

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Re: What things did you have to do for your parents as a kid

Madam Bijoux|1316011180|3017306 said:
I got a quarter for every dandelion I pulled up, but I had to get the entire root.
Me too! I totally forgot about that until you reminded me of it with your post!
 

monarch64

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Re: What things did you have to do for your parents as a kid

I don't know...I maybe shouldn't have been driving by 13, but I had a lot of space to learn (60+ acres). My dad would have me drive his very heavy Cadillac over mole hills in the yard. He would never let me learn to drive the tractor, though...I don't think my parents asked us to do anything totally inappropriate. They did not keep any alcohol in the house and my father got his own cigarettes.
 

Lottie

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Re: What things did you have to do for your parents as a kid

When we were younger, maybe early teens, whoever was sat in the front of the car used to have to light my mothers cigarettes for her by holding the flame to the cigarette but not putting it near our mouths. (We in the UK cottoned on to the horrors of passive smoking a little later than the US) The thought of anyone smoking near my children in a confined space horrifies me but this was the norm back then :-o

As far as housework goes we girls all had to contribute, although I don't remember my brother having to do anything - why do mothers do that to son's! Pocket money was given out following a Saturday morning inspection of our bedrooms - I quickly learnt that my idea of tidy was never going to make me rich so I got a waitressing job after school when I turned 14.

I can't believe the effort I used to go to not to do my chores, like closing the lounge door, switching on the hoover and then sitting down with a magazine thinking I was some kind of genius - it must have been SO obvious that there was no hoovering being done! :lol:
 

Laila619

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Re: What things did you have to do for your parents as a kid

bee*|1316019086|3017420 said:
Thinking back, I must have been such a lazy kid-I don't remember being asked to do much. We'd load and empty the dishwasher and keep our rooms tidy and that was about all we were asked to do.
LOL, this.

My parents did make me get a job at 15 though, which I hated. I thought I was too young, and I didn't have a lot of time to finish my homework!
 

iheartscience

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Re: What things did you have to do for your parents as a kid

bee*|1316019086|3017420 said:
Thinking back, I must have been such a lazy kid-I don't remember being asked to do much. We'd load and empty the dishwasher and keep our rooms tidy and that was about all we were asked to do.
Yep, same here! I did do my own laundry from around 6th grade or so, though.

My twin sister and I were always mad we couldn't cut the grass because were really skinny and the engine automatically cut off unless a certain weight was on the seat. Once we weighed enough to mow the lawn we would actually fight over who got to do it! :cheeky:

My twin sister and I are the youngest of 5 so I admit we were a bit spoiled. :cheeky:

ETA I played soccer and field hockey and had 2-3 hour practices every day after school, plus I played in select leagues on the weekends, so I definitely couldn't have done any serious chores or had an after school job every day. I did get a weekend and summer job when I was 16, but that was mostly for fun.
 

lliang_chi

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Re: What things did you have to do for your parents as a kid

As far as chores we (my sister and I) did a lot. My brother had assigned chores, but he rarely did them, only after lots of drama, nagging and fighting.
1. Cleaning the kitchen after my dad cooked/set a tornado off in it (middle & high school)
2. Setting the table, clearing the dishes (grade school)
3. Took the trash to the curb (grade school)
4. Cleaned our bathroom (grade school)
5. Keeping our rooms tidy (always)
6. Sweeping kitchen everyday (grade school)
7. Sweeping & mopping house the house once a week (middle school up)
8. Picking up leaves in the yard (grade school, after that we got a yard service)
9. Doing our own laundry (4th grade up, was really bad at this when I was very young, smelly clothes etc, but got better)
10. Breakfast (5th grade up)
11. Packing own lunch (high school, before that would get lunch money at school)
12. Making lunch/dinner (college, when we were home on break)

We had a weekend/summer job ("helped" in my dad's take out restaurant. Taking orders, small prep work, e.g. making wontons, egg rolls etc). We never really took a paycheck for it but when we asked for spending money to go shopping he'd pay us about $80-$100, maybe once a month.

Did not have to pay for groceries, gas etc.

Side question, does anyone have spouses/SO who had less/no chores? My DH had zero chores growing up. I found/still find at times that he's quite spoiled. I'm slowly breaking him of this....
 

zoebartlett

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Re: What things did you have to do for your parents as a kid

I can't think of anything inappropriate that my parents asked my sister and I to do for them. I did ride my bike without a helmet, but helmets weren't really a big thing like they are now. We had chores to do, things like doing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen and dining room after dinner, cleaning our rooms, and some yard work. There were other things we were responsible for too.
 

missy

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Re: What things did you have to do for your parents as a kid

Side question, does anyone have spouses/SO who had less/no chores? My DH had zero chores growing up. I found/still find at times that he's quite spoiled.
Well, almost the opposite actually. My dh had way more chores than I did. Growing up my sister and I were responsible for making our beds and doing well in school and that was about it. Well, that and being on the swim team which I hated but did for my parents. We also were forced to take ice skating lessons/sessions every Sunday night which I also hated a lot. Too cold and my fingers also turned blue. So while it wasn't technically a chore it felt like one to me! :knockout: Actually now that I think about it while we didn't have chores per se we certainly had to do a lot we didn't enjoy (at least that I didn't enjoy). I was forced to take piano and organ lessons from when I was young. Gymnastics, tap, ballet...damn, I was given lots to do that I didn't love now that I think about it! So while we didn't have household chores I was a busy kid and had a lot of scheduled stuff I had to do. Interesting that I never thought of it like that before.

My dh OTOH had to (from about 10yo and on) prepare dinners for his family (his 2 younger brothers and dad) as his mom went back to school to get her Phd in education (as well as other degrees). He also took care of the laundry and other household chores that his mom didn't have time to do. He also started working part time from the age of 15. He was a busboy and then he worked in a bike shop repairing bikes.
I am lucky that my MIL taught my dh to be so self sufficient because not only is he a great cook he really can do anything. He still irons my stuff when I ask him to since I am lousy at it. Though I did get a steamer recently and I really love it. It gets those wrinkles out pretty well and no skill required!

So we are a perfect match really. Since he's good at everything and I'm good at nothing! :cheeky:
 

LGK

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Re: What things did you have to do for your parents as a kid

My dad decided to teach me to play pool. At 11 or 12. In smoky bars. Mom had no idea as it turns out! He was determined that we'd hustle pool together. Didn't work out so well, as I persistently sucked at it, probably on purpose :devil:

He also, about that age, decided I ought to learn to drive (bear in mind at 11, I looked about 17 or 18 at least, which is how he was getting away with all this ridiculousness). So he stuck me behind the wheel of the ancient, automatic Dodge Cordoba we had and I terrorized the neighborhood for months in it. I did learn to drive OK- as in, I could aim the car and not hit stuff- though I had no idea what a lot of the street signs meant!

Oh and his mother, my grandmother, gave me a mimosa at about age 9 for breakfast when we visited her the once out in KS. Pretty heavy on the OJ, but I could definitely taste- and feel!- the champage.
 

Kaleigh

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Re: What things did you have to do for your parents as a kid

I didn't buy into any of it. I knew at age 6, something ain't right...
 

zoebartlett

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Re: What things did you have to do for your parents as a kid

lliang_chi|1316038611|3017740 said:
Side question, does anyone have spouses/SO who had less/no chores? My DH had zero chores growing up. I found/still find at times that he's quite spoiled. I'm slowly breaking him of this....
My husband helped his dad with outside chores but he didn't do too much inside. His mom took care of it all as far as I know. He actually said to me one day that he wasn't good at cleaning. WTF? How hard is it, really?! I literally had to show him what I wanted him to do, and I had to define what a thorough cleaning was. :rolleyes: I love the man but there are some times when I want to wring his neck.
 

bee*

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Re: What things did you have to do for your parents as a kid

Glad I wasn't the only one Laila and thing2!!
 
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