Shirah Vollmer MD

The Musings of Dr. Vollmer

Archive for October 27th, 2010

Should Parents Pay Their Children to Volunteer?

Posted by Dr. Vollmer on October 27, 2010

    The economy is really tough for some folks; particularly for young folks without a college education. Anna, twenty, lives at home, cannot find a job, and is so bored she is “driving everyone nuts,” her father tells me. “She needs to get a job,” he says, as if saying it emphatically is going to make it happen. “What if she gets a volunteer job?” I ask, thinking that this economy lends itself to charity work. “I will pay her to do that,” he replies instantly. I pause. Volunteering promotes mental health. People feel good when they give of themselves. I wonder if the equation changes if the parent pays. It is an interesting idea. I hope Anna follows through.

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