In many American families, children are expected to help around the house. They are assigned "chores" which might include, for example, vacuuming the rugs, washing and waxing floors, cleaning windows, mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, keeping the car clean, looking after pets, and so on. Some families give a small amount of money, an allowance, in exchange for these and similar chores. Other families simply desire such work to be shared by everyone in the family.
At the same time, many American middle-class families want their children to find part-time jobs, especially as they enter their teens. This might be working at the local supermarket or service station, delivering newspapers or babysitting. Americans feel that young people should appreciate the value of work and learn how to stand on their own two feet. In fact, about 75 percent of high school seniors work during the average school week.
A lot of Americans expect their children to leave home at an earlier age than do parents in many other western cultures. Beyond a certain age, they are often expected to contribute to, or pay for things that go beyond food, clothing and shelter Many high school students have their own cars. But most of them were paid for by the students themselves.
And still, despite numerous chores in the house and part-time jobs tor contributing kids, at an average American home there is an enormous amount of activity. For parents, there are perhaps courses at the local evening school or college. There are public service organizations, churches, clubs, which sponsor host activities, related to charitable work. There are Parent-Teacher-Association meetings. There are sports games on TV, and simply eating out at some restaurant at the end of the week.
For children, there are countless activities to do as well. Many American children take music lessons, dancing or ballet lessons, horseback riding, swimming, skiing, golf, tennis, and just about anything else that parents think will be good for their children. Lots of children and their parents are involved in volunteer work. Some of this work is done at hospitals, libraries, service organizations, churches, high schools and museums, etc.
In short, life at an American home is full of planned and unplanned activities. Children and parents are never bored at their homes. And if the feeling of boredom approaches them, then, probably, it is time to call on relatives and friends!
a chore (s) — работа по дому, домашние обязанности
to wax the floor — натирать воском пол
to shovel snow — сгребать лопатой снег
an allowance — плата, пособие
to deliver newspapers — доставлять газеты
to appreciate the value of work — ценить труд, понимать ценность труда
charitable work — благотворительная работа
to take horseback riding lessons — заниматься верховой ездой
volunteer work — волонтерская работа
the feeling of boredom — чувство скуки