News & articles

Children required by law to do housework… in Spain

May 28th, 2014

There is a sense that the, some might say, shameful Western sense of entitlement has gotten out of hand. Grabbing all we can as though it’s our birth-right, taking the essentials for granted, giving too little in return. The greater fear yet is that this tendency to look out for number one is being unceremoniously thrust upon the younger generations. But how do we curb this? Is it for children themselves to tame this curse of self-interestedness? Mouths agape at the television, thumbs swiping at touchscreens – what do these x-factor-venerating smartphone fanatics have to give, you might ask?

In Spain, a similar point was last month considered in some detail by parliament. It might soon be that Spanish children will be required – by law, no less – to take greater responsibility around the house; washing up, ironing, vacuuming and the like. If the bill is made into law, children will also be required to “participate in family life”, “respect their parents and siblings” and “maintain a positive attitude about learning.” How this is expected to translate into practice remains to be seen; no doubt the traditionalists among our own parliamentarians will watch with interest as the Spanish bill gathers steam.

Commentators have referred to the move as ‘brave’, ‘wise’ and also ‘forced labour’ and ‘prehistoric’, so views are inevitably divided. Whether such futures beckon for our own youngsters is unlikely. With the changing political tides, however, who knows what lies ahead…


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