Paying Teenagers
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2015 07:20:56 -0800 (PST)
I'm conflicted about the issue of paying teenagers to help with tasks that an 
adult community member would just do for me, like taking out my trash and 
recycling when I'm sick. Running across the street to the market. Helping me 
repot plants. Break up the ice in my parking space.

It seems clear that if I ask a 15-year-old to come work for an hour or two to 
help with chores that I would pay them. But if another person would just clear 
off the snow on my car gratis or grab my trash when taking out theirs, should I 
pay a teenager to do it?

Since I want teenagers to feel more like members of the community, why not 
expect them to be part of the community? 

There is some line here that is blurry. Since they are often saving money for 
something, they need money. Sometimes to pay for their own phone or a new 
bicycle helmet or something their parent has said yes but you have to earn the 
money. Since they are in school and often helping at home as well, having a job 
is not practical. So paying teenagers is helping them earn the typical teenage 
necessities and it's helping the parents as much as the teens.

What do other communities do about this?

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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