Since the beginning, there were chores. I’m sure Adam and Eve came up with some doozies because from my 2,000 square feet perspective, I’m positive tending the entire Garden of Eden couldn’t have been a two person job. So chores for children were invented. It’s not just free labor……that’s just a happy bonus. Chores have an important, valuable place in your children’s healthy development. Here’s my take on chores.
Woodland Animals Are Tone Deaf
Giving your child age appropriate chores teaches them so much more than how to wash a dish. They discover that they can complete a task independent of you. This gives them a sense of pride in their work. The first time my son cleaned a toilet, he guarded it like it was the crown jewels. Thank God we had another one in the house because no one dared to use that one.
Chores perfectly demonstrate how much effort and hard work goes into a clean house. They quickly learn that magical woodland animals (Aka, mom’s secret identity) aren’t going to come waltzing in to clean their room if they just whistle the right tune. Then bam! All the sudden they learn the value of things. Nothing teaches that value quicker than having to clean the kitchen table, then watch their baby sister spread butter all over it, knowing they are going to have to clean it again. That kitchen table becomes their territory, lions couldn’t patrol it better.
Future Teachers Will Worship You
Chores teach responsibility. Honestly! If you give them a scheduled set of weekly chores, it becomes their responsibility to complete those tasks. It’s their job within the family, it’s how they contribute. Children will see that although we each have separate tasks, each task is important to the whole. It’s team cooperation at its finest. Everyone contributes, and every contribution is important. But better than that, it becomes a habit to complete given tasks. It’s their declaration of independence……. that you might have to force on them.
There are some great resources to help you with ideas and guidance like 30 Handmade Days post Teach Your Kids How To Do The Laundry.
I know that it seems easier to just do it yourself. It may be faster, more efficient and cleaner, but you aren’t helping your children in the long run. No one is going to come in and clean their dorm room. Bosses aren’t going to overlook messy workstations, and future spouses won’t appreciate hearing that endless whistling when it’s their turn to clean the bathroom.
Chores Aren’t About You
Chores are actually a gift that you give your kids. It’s not about getting help, although why not, we’re parents not indentured slaves! So don’t feel guilty, you’re doing what a parent is meant to do. You’re teaching them responsibility. How to contribute and the rewards of following through in the real world.
It’s about finding the patience to allow them to discover that they can do what’s required of them. Letting them discover the satisfaction of a job well done. And helping them understand that mommy and daddy can’t always be there to resolve the messes they find themselves living in. You’re doing this for them…..I swear! Clean floors are just a side benefit for being an awesome parent. And besides, you too can have a toilet cleaning master demon.
What do you think about children’s chores? And do you tie their allowance to their chores? Drop me a comment and let me know.
PS – As a personal note, I do want to say that I wouldn’t recommend allowing children to handle chemical cleaning products. It’s just advice from one chemical free – environmentally friendly mom.