Today’s post comes from Clyde of Mankato
The photo shows my sister Cleo at age 13 and and me at age 10.
Standard clothing and standard work for farm children in the mid 1950’s. I cannot imagine my ten-year-old and thirteen-year-old Minnesota grandchildren working like this, nor do I want to. But I do not regret this labor in my childhood. My father did not assign us this task lightly. He no doubt was off doing even harder work at the same time. My sister, I suspect, came out of her own free will to help me. We were close that way. My sister was not afraid of exercise. She became a physical education teacher. The work she and I did mattered; it contributed to the welfare of the family.
However, one of my many back issues is a disorder in my upper back which is associated with doing heavy lifting at a young age. Perhaps it is related; perhaps it is not. I promise that was heavy snow, having been pushed there by the county plow. We lived at the end of a road.
I am a bit confused about the issue of children working. I did not make my children do much work, but none of the supposed effects of not requiring children to work is evident in my mid-forties offspring. Quite the opposite in fact.
What’s your history and attitude on child labor?