A Defence of Child Labour (Sort of)

business_ethics_highlights_2You don’t often see major newspapers advocating child labour. This piece is from the Parenting section of the New York times, but it could just as easily have been from the Business section. Of course, it’s not advocating “child labour” in the usual sense. There’s no defence of sweatshops here. But the piece makes for a useful counterpoint to the common feeling that no form of child labour is ever justified. While the type of labour we usually picture when we hear the word “child labour” is rightly banned just about everywhere, child labour of the kind advocated here is of course entirely legal, and rightly so. There must surely be borderline cases that pose interesting questions. >>>

LINK: Hard Work Makes Children, and Families, Stronger (by KJ Dell’Antonia for NYT)

…Big jobs and hard work help children develop traits we value, like drive and persistence. They help us teach the lessons that most of us were raised on, the ones about how important it is to stick to it, learn to do the grunt work as well as the good work, and to look around for the next thing that needs doing until the job is done and done right. For families, doing a big job together can bring us closer (or unite our children in their hatred of us, but that has its advantages, too)…..

What do you think?


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