My So is building his parent's kitchen. He wanted to take my son with him because even though he is 11 he was very excited to help.

They left around 7am and SO told me to go get him around 11am. When I got there my son was like "mommy I am working". He ended up being very useful opening the boxes and putting the cabinets together and a grown up did the staple gun and tools he isn't allowed to touch. In all he worked 7 hours that day

His parents didn't acknowledge what he did, so I encouraged him to write something up and call them. The problem is that he didn't understand why everyone else got paid but he didn't. Their granddaughter actually got $30 for helping unpack the kitchen. this is what he wrote:

I am dissatisfied because I assisted in remaking your kitchen but everyone else got rewarded excluding me.
I believe I should be treated with reasonableness since:
1) I helped constructing the cabinets
2) I explained to the grown-ups exactly how to build the cabinets and door hinges
3) I managed not to make an inaccuracy
In conclusion, I worked for seven challenging hours trying to help you reconstruct your kitchen and I reason that I should be treated accordingly


I did NOT help him write this. In fact I was at work when he wrote it.

He calls SO's mother and her answer was "Well I didn't hire you" she also told him she didn't pay her my stepdaughter, which isn't true. She didn't pay her that day but she certainly did pay her. Which my son knew because they are very close. Also they were discussing money and what they paid the 2 other adults working and my son heard it so he was expecting SOMETHING .
I am so angry they would treat my son this way. She was cold and heartless to him on the phone. She also said, "What do you want? Money? " to which he replied , well it doesn't have to be a lot.
I understand he is a child but he really did do a lot of work and he was doing it right. My BF isn't going to say anything to them because they really don't get along but that is another story.
Originally Posted by violets
Sounds like it was your partner's decision to take your son, and your son wanted to help out, at no point did your partner's parents ask or agree to your son being employed. Is it even legal for a child of 11 to work seven hours for a wage?

Reads to me like either voluntary work or your partner subcontracting work to your son, so either he does not get paid or your partner pays him. Plenty of times volunteers work alongside paid employees, that is very much part of the adult world.

Whilst absolutely your son should have been thanked because that is common courtesy, I don't think you should encourage him to think he should be treated the same as adults, nor the same as a relative (not a step since you are not married, that often matters to older generations), nor to expect a gift or reward when he chooses to help someone out. Volunteering can and should be rewarding in itself, you can also learn valuable life skills as an unpaid 'apprentice' or volunteer.
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