“Cin! Get out of that bed you lazy girl!! Put away those dishes, feed the cats and clean out that litter box!!”
“Get going, Der! You need to sweet the floor and mop the kitchen. When you are done with that, wash the windows!”
“ELLA!!!!” Where is that child??!! Get outside and mow the lawn!!”
” And when you are all done with that, you can clean the bathrooms! I don’t care that you want to go to the fancy ball!! You don’t have nice enough clothes anyways! Which reminds me, Cin, start some laundry!”
“Oh this coffee is so good. I will just sit here and enjoy my coffee and read my book.” I said as I sat back in my comfy chair while the children did all the work.
Hahahahaa!! Ok, so my life isn’t quite like that. I am not quite that hard on my kids when it comes to chores. Though, I do recall one time someone close to me said something to their kids, in front of me and my kids, that really hurt. “Do you want to do as much work as they have to?” And they quickly shook their heads “NO”.
It kinda hurt I have to admit still today. I have forgiven that person by now, but its something that I think about occasionally.
The fact is, my kids do a lot of chores. We have a large family and quite frankly, if I had to do it all, it would not get done. Everyone works hard around here. Everyone has chores to do to keep the family running smoothly and the house and yard from looking abandoned!
(except this past fall- we were all busy and, well, the leaves are still all over the yard and the lawn didn’t get mowed as often as it probably should have. Don’t tell my Dad!)
Historically, children had chores they needed to do to help the family. There was work to be done and all helped get it done. If you look at historical figures, often times they had to learn to work and work well to overcome their personal adversity.
For example, George Washington Carver. He left home at 10 years old to walk 8 miles to the next town so he could go to school. There he found himself work to support himself and even took in laundry later on. That tells me he was helping with and learned to do laundry before he left home at 10, along with other chores that needed doing.
Now obviously, our children typically don’t have to leave home that early, but my point is this; he was 10 years old and could do what he needed to do to support himself away from home. Some of our kids are having trouble doing that at 18 when they should be old enough to support and handle themselves away from home.
( clearly, I am NOT pointing fingers here. I am not perfect and neither are my kids.)
Our kids need to be taught to do age appropriate chores. They need to know and be empowered by the knowledge that they can do what is needed, they can help out. Chores and helping out around the home teach our kids important life lessons as well as encourages them by teaching them that they are important.
Kids are empowered and encouraged when they accomplish a task. The have a sense of personal satisfaction in a job well done. They see that they are an important part of the family and their contributions matter. They learn that if they don’t do their part, the family suffers. They learn that they are interconnected and needed. What they do or don’t do matters. Kids learn to find joy and enjoyment in their jobs.
I feel that it helps them mature and later on, be better equipped to find joy and happiness in whatever job they end up doing. It can also help them make mature decisions concerning their school and career choices. My goal is for them to find jobs they love and then not hate their jobs and hate their life. Too many of us take on jobs that end up being careers that are hated. I don’t want my kids to do that. I want them to enjoy whatever they are doing. They are going to be working for a long time, just like all the rest of us. Why waste that time doing something you hate??
Ok- this one has gone on long enough, but quite frankly, I could write lots more! I have 3 more pages of notes I scribbled out this morning as I thought about this topic! I will save it for next week.
Let me know your thoughts on this topic in the comments. I will have a sort of chore list and age groups in a future post. Keep me accountable to that!!