Tuesday, October 30, 2012

31 Days: Kids & Chores


It's such a dreaded word. I know I hated it when I was growing up even though I had basically no chores. But they have to be done and someone has to do them.

My parents talk often about how they wish they had taken responsibility in giving us more responsibility around the house. Learning from them and knowing how I want to help shape my girls, chores will play a part in that.

I'm a big fan of John Rosemond. I've written a book review on one of his books, mentioned him in another post on our TV habits and I am just, well, a fan, a big fan. He's a BIG believer in chores, even starting them at a young age. He believes they help shape a child's character and make them feel like they play a role in their family. I have to agree with him 100%.

When we first had Nyla I didn't think much about implementing chores with her or future kids. I figured I would just do everything (but let Daniel vacuum) and that would be that. My dad had mentioned John Rosemond's books on a few occasions and I finally borrowed one of his and was blown away. I then asked for a couple more for Christmas and blew through those. He talked briefly about chores but how he felt they were an integral part in the child's developing into a competent adult who contributed to his family, therefore contributing to the world. How many of us didn't know how to do laundry until we were in high school or had gone away to school? Did you know how to cook, meal plan and budget? I'd say there were a lot of us who didn't know about any of this. I didn't. And I know my parents regret it.

Now that Nyla is two she helps with a few things around the house. We've been picking up her room and the den for awhile now. She has her days when it's a battle but for the most part she's helpful. Now she helps unload the dishwasher (she started when she was about 20 months old). I told my mom that and she said, "But she can't reach anything!" Yes, but she can hand me everything. "Oh, right" was her response. Does it take longer when she's helping? Yes. Has she dropped things and broken them? Yes, but so have I. Does she put things in the right place? Not all the time. I love that she helps and wants to help. She thinks its fun and she has some ownership in the task. And she feels good about herself when I tell her what a good helper she is to me. She's contributing to our family.

Not only does she unload the dishwasher, she helps clear the table, sweep the floor, take out the trash, put a new bag in and wipe the table down. Yes, my two year does all this. She does it with help but she still does all that. It doesn't happen every night but it does most nights. I know it's so important that she feels she's contributing and being helpful and she's learning life skills. One day she will run her own home and need to know how to do things.

I think it's so important for kids to do chores. While we dread them and they eventually will too, it's part of life. Stuff has to get done and us mommies can't do it all, nor do we need to. It's part of growing our children into adults who contribute to our family and this world. And it's never too early to start implementing life skills into them. As she gets older, she'll get more tasks and she'll be expected to do them everyday. I also will teach her how to menu plan, grocery budget, shop and cook simple meals when the time comes, among other things.

Did you have chores as a child?
Do your children have chores now? 

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