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Parenting praise for the Beckhams
Rebecca Moore is impressed with the way David and Victoria are putting their son to work
Anyone who’s ever heard David Beckham speak could be forgiven for thinking him one spanner short of a toolkit. Similarly, anyone who made their fortune singing Zig-a-zig-ah, doesn’t seem like the likeliest candidate for the annual wisdom awards.
However, the Beckhams have revealed themselves smarter and wiser than previous public impressions gave them credit for.
It was recently reported that the pair’s eldest son, Brooklyn, is working in a café, earning minimum wage.
One can only presume that his parents did not dole out £50 notes in exchange for every milk tooth and have instead encouraged Brooklyn to earn his own pocket money.
My very first job at the tender age of 15 was as a caravan cleaner on a nearby holiday resort.
A family friend who worked there put in a good word for me (curse her) and we paired up each Saturday morning to tackle the newly abandoned weekly lets.
It was grim work and a half-day scrubbing toilets, emptying bins and dusting scummy curtain rails earned me about £20 – which I invariably spent later that same afternoon in town.
After there, I worked for two summers at a local restaurant, run off my feet in a place that served two-course roast dinners for £4.99, to mildly obese tourists who rarely tipped. I regularly burnt my fingers and several times barely avoided slopping boiling gravy and pea juice into old ladies’ laps.
By the time I got to sixth form, I was spending my Friday nights and Saturdays frying chips in Sainsbury’s, then at 18 I was the rosy-cheeked local barmaid, with a wink and a joke for each and every local.
I hated most of these jobs – except the barmaiding which was at an age when I could at least get drunk thanks to a friendly local, flirt outrageously with the regulars and dance on the bar to the jukebox, all while still making it to law class the next morning.
I’m not from a rich family. I agreed to my first job because I knew that my mum couldn’t afford to give me money to waste on my weekly trips to Claire’s Accessories and New Look.
My jobs through college and university were born of necessity if I ever wanted to go clubbing, buy new clothes – and later – make rent.
Obviously, I believe that this background not only paid my way through various educational institutions but also prepared me for adult life in general – teaching me how to save, how to work professionally and how to earn trust from people who were depending on me.
When I heard that David and Victoria Beckham are making Brooklyn work I silently applauded.
Because here is a millionaire couple who could – quite obviously – afford to buy their children just about anything they could possibly desire.
In encouraging him to work, Brooklyn will gain a work ethic, will learn how to interact with people professionally, and will appreciate seeing a side to life he might have otherwise been fairly oblivious to.
He will also – hopefully – grow into adulthood with less a feeling of entitlement and more a sense of responsibility.
I’m not saying he’ll ever feel quite like I have – staying awake at night worrying about whether this month’s wages will cover this month’s expenses – but no doubt working in a café in west London he’ll interact with individuals for whom that is in fact a reality.
And in this parenting act the Beckhams have revealed themselves to be infinitely wiser than we may have previously given them credit for.