Child labor, fun for the whole family!

Today at the restaurant two boys came in asking how much it would cost to buy two pizzas, they were both around 10 years old. I started breaking down prices for them and telling them what was on special for the day only to watch their eyeballs widen in fear and confusion. Finally I just asked them how much money they had. It was five bucks.

“Tell you what boys,” I said to them, “for your five bucks and some work I will sell you a pizza.

Their eyes lit up like… well like little boys who were about to eat some pizza. So I sat them down at a table and gave them a big stack of boxes, showed them how to fold one and set them to work while I went in the back to make them a pizza. A few moments later my buddy sent his two boys down to bag up some ice from my machine. Just after that my wife dropped my two oldest boys off and I set them to work making pizza sauce. For about 20 minutes today I had a small army of child labor in the restaurant, and it was glorious.

Young children love to work, even if they don’t know it. It’s instinctual to prove your usefulness to the tribe. Every day I hear the narrative that “kids these days” don’t know the value of hard work. Honestly I think the problem is more likely that adults these days don’t know the value of putting children to work.

Lost from our culture is the rite of passage that is guiding our children into positions of usefulness. To demonstrate one’s value in a real and tangible way is how one identifies themselves as an individual amongst a community. Moreover, to test one’s abilities is to challenge them to grow and inspire them to achieve.

I work my kids because I genuinely need their help to keep the ship moving. They are part of the family and our family is part of the community and our community is part of this great nation. It’s not novelty that I give them jobs, its necessary. Without their help we all fail and that is the lesson I want them to learn most. They are capable, they valuable and they are needed. We’re all in this together, and there’s plenty of work that still needs done.