Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Remember the fairytale story of Cinderella? The poor girl was forced to do all the work in her home while her ugly step sisters went with their mother to the ball in hopes of being chosen as a wife for the prince?
Fast forward to the year 2014 where the story of a real-life Cinderella unfolds. A Welsh woman is suing her seventy-five year old parents for a portion of their £7million estate. She claims, sort of like Cinderella before her that for twenty-five years she worked extremely long hours on the family dairy farm while her siblings went out and enjoyed themselves dancing.
According to news reports, the forty-five year old woman claims that as a teen she had to stay and work on the farm while her two sisters went to the Young Farmers’ Club dances. She says that over the years she says she was told by her parents “You’ll have the whole dam lot one day.”
Her parents counter that their daughter received room and board and a fair wage. They also said they had put her through agriculture school because she said she wanted to stay on the farm.
Honestly, it would be hard to walk away from any portion of £7milion. (I don’t know what that is in dollars but it sounds like a lot.) But, I wonder, is the estate really “family” money? Doesn’t it belong to the parents to give, loose, throw away as they choose? Could the daughter have (gasp) saved up for her own small farm instead of waiting on the parents to die? On second thought, I guess not since she’s suing for her portion now.
Meanwhile, on “this side of the pond” we have the New Jersey Cinderella who doesn’t have to contend with ugly step sisters. Instead she sounds like she could be one, stomping her feet and demanding she be supported in the manner in which she wants to be accustom. At the legal age of 18 years old, she wants to set her own rules just as an adult can, but be supported as a minor. She feels she is owed the money for her room and board, weekly child support of, and her remaining high school tuition. Oh, and of course, college tuition.
My question is when are our children going to learn self-reliance, respect for their parents, and pride in their own accomplishments? To me, the obvious answer is--when we teach them.
At the close of the New Jersey Cinderella case, the judge asked, “Do we want to establish a precedent where parents live in basic fear of establishing rules of the house?”
Well, do we?
This is Bea Bell, signing off.