Brasilmagic\’s Weblog

Venting to the World

Kids and Work ethic

A big difference between the middle class in Brazil and the middle class in the US is that teens and young adults in Brazil do not work until they finish college. And sometimes grad school.

No jobs during high school, college or summer vacations. No learning early to earn their own money. Parents pay for everything until their mid-20’s. I heard that the children of the president of Lilly Pharma here in the US had odd jobs in their youth to learn the importance of work. My daughters had odd jobs in clothing stores and departments stores, tutoring kids and day care centers.

Upper class Brazilians don’t want their kids (often white) mixed in with people from the “lower classes”. Jobs like waitressing, babysitting, gardening, etc, are considered beneath them. Work ethic is just not valued. Why make your poor kid work when you can give them everything? I understand the importance of concentrating in your studies, but what about summers? Are you going to let your 20 year old sitting for 3 months doing nothing? How about teaching them the satisfaction of earning their ow money, even if it’s peanuts?

Different cultures, different values. But a lot about the class system in Brazil is based on this idea that some people are better than others, and that lowly work is not dignified.

I was lucky to spend a part of high school in the US. I had a paper route and babysat. I loved not having to ask my Dad for pocket money and buy my records or other things I wanted. When we returned to Brazil and I started college, I worked as an assistant teacher at the American School of Brasilia, because I spoke fluent English. I also taught English in private language schools throughout College. I paid for my first ticket to Europe when I was 22 myself, and was proud of that. I never liked to ask people for money.


May 21, 2016 Posted by | Difference between cultures, Family | 3 Comments