Kids and Chores – Right

LOL.  As a mom to six little monkeys under the age of twelve I say ‘YES.’ chores are a good thing for children.  I grew up in a large family on a dairy farm and have benefited from a lot of hard work while growing up.  The lessons learned can not be taught in school and the importance of understanding that throughout life we have responsibilities, as there are no ‘free passes.’  The key is finding the balance between ‘chores’ and ‘play-time.’  As chores should not be used as a form of punishment, rather an expectancy with reward.

I remember dreading getting up at 5:30 am to do the chores so I could head off to volleyball or basketball practice, then off to school for 9 am.  Yes I would often grumble but always did it because it was the right thing to do.  It helped my dad out, set a positive precedent for my siblings and intermittently I knew I would be rewarded.  A weekend away with the family in Toronto, the newest fad (Cabbage Patch Kids at one point) or ten dollars and a ride to the movies (I know that would not cut it these days!).  If I had hockey or basketball after school I was usually excused from helping on the farm.  My dad basically gave us work to do if we had nothing on the go. 

These chores taught me confidence, responsibility, a sense of control and the lesson that nothing in life is free.  A little hard work never hurt anybody!  My strong character developed as a result of the tasks I was expected to do at home. 

Unfortunately a lot of children are bubble-wrapped these days and when they are tossed into the real world it is going to eat them up!  Children that have not learned how to cook the basics or do laundry are going to run into trouble when mom and dad are not around.  What about changing a tire or hot-wiring a tractor (Ha…yes I can do that!).  These skills and responsibilities kids learn early on help them to be better rounded adults that have the tools and ability to take care of themselves.  That is very important in this day and age in my opinion. 

Now this can be taken to extreme and that is not right either.  Kids should not have to work like slaves and miss out on being kids.  But they should have some chores to do and know what is expected of them.  Stay firm with the rules but have a little bend-ability when warranted. 

With this attitude your child will understand the importance of chores and be more willing to just get the job done and leave the whining for someone else!