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Last summer we spent some time visiting at a friend’s house.
I would love to say it was “a nice visit” but the whole time I was there my friend was zipping around her house in a frenzy. Her constant multitasking understandable (she has a passel of kids) but I got worn out just watching her.
When I tactfully suggested she should enlist the help of her more-than-old-enough-kids, she froze dead in her tracks, shot me the greasy eyeball, and sternly proclaimed. “I don’t treat my boys like slaves.”
I bit my tongue, closed my yap (not an easy task. My “yap” does not like to be retrained) and never said a word. But in all honesty, that might quite possibly have been the biggest load of horse pucky I’d heard in a while. Sure, I totally “get” the fact that kids-should-be-kids, but I also think parenthood does not mean Domestic Servitude.
So I did a little reading. The truth-of-the-matter is, responsibility in the form of chores are assigned tasks are good for kids. It builds confidence, boost self esteem and enforces the fact that family and home is a team effort. It’s a priority for everyone within the home to help clean up, maintain, and keep the household functions.
I explain to our kids often that a family unit works together. Yes, raking leaves and picking up dog poo sucks, but we all pitch in together because it’s the right thing to do. Let’s face it, if kids don’t have the skills of teamwork, responsibility and consequences, it will a cold cruel world when they grow up and leave the nest. Kids helping parents is a life skill, not slavery as my friend indicated.
Chores: The When, What, and Who
*Filling your pet’s water and food bowl.
*Gather up dirty laundry and put in clothes hamper.
*”Window cleaning” Give a 4 year old a spray bottle of water and a cloth and they will be busy for hours.
*Fill pets water and food bowls
*Carry garbage bags to outside receptacle.
*Fold towels and washcloths.
*Minor yard work (stick removable etc)
*Keeping their room tidy
*Sweeping and Vacuuming
*Keeping room tidy
*Set dinner table
*Load and unload the dishwasher
*Take out trash.
*Get the mail (if safe-and supervised)
I also ADORE these printable Chore Charts from Tip Junkie. I’ve been wracking my brain on how I can keep my kids on task (and from trashing the house) this summer when school ends. I don’t want summer to be a free-for-all and frankly, Daddy is just as big of a kid as they are (so much for parental supervision).
I think this one from CreativeMama may be a winner:
What’s your “Chore Process” and what chores do you feel are good for kids?