You all have done a great job of giving voice to my internal dialogue. I keep going back and forth. After every post I say "You're right!" I see the positives and pitfalls from both positions.
Mo is a hard worker. He enjoys working. He's pretty savvy with money. He already has a savings account.
We don't give him an allowance but we do pay him for odd jobs he does around the house, jobs that are in addition to the things he's already expected to do. Mr. B and I have had the allowance discussion many times and we both feel that "chores" are just part of being a family -- everyone has things they're responsible for. Right now Mo is talking about how he should start getting paid to mow the lawn and we're saying that mowing the lawn is something that's expected of him and he shouldn't get paid for that (for example).
He does get paid for additional yard work, however.
Still, it's hard to come up with something that needs to be done on a regular basis. That makes it difficult to teach the other qualities that make someone a good "employee". Plus, I don't want him to ever think that he's considered an employee of the family!
My take is that you are giving money to a charity, and Mo is doing some work. In essence, he's your paid agent. You're paying him money to do work you don't want to do.
The thing is, I would have to volunteer alongside him. 12 year olds can't volunteer without a parent there to supervise. In most cases 12 year olds can't volunteer at all (I'm learning). But yes, he would
be my paid agent.
But that first stone....getting some volunteering experience.....that's not happening, because he IS getting paid, regardless of who is paying.
Okay, so he's getting some work experience then. He's got to show up on time and do the work that is required. He has to follow the rules of someplace set up like a job. He has to learn to work alongside other people and take direction from someone other than me or Mr. B and someplace outside of school.
But if this is an opportunity for Mo to earn a little money with honest work toward a worthwhile cause, there is nothing wrong with that.
I can't really argue with that. I feel myself toppling a bit.
There is really no reason that anyone would ever have to know that I was paying him to do the work. He would not be volunteering with kids his age because frankly there aren't really any volunteer opportunities for kids his age. I think I would want him to think of it as a job.