Teaching Responsibility Through Chores

We didn’t have a lot of chores growing up. Every Saturday we had to help clean the bathrooms, but that was about it. We helped a little here and there, but in the end, we didn’t do a whole lot to help around the house when we were kids. My mother tried, but after battling grumpy children for a couple years she finally gave up. In very little time, she had six spoiled teenagers who didn’t know how to cook or clean for themselves. I was the only one who had a consistent job through high school, and the others simply relied on my parents to take care of all their needs. In turn none of the others learned the value of work. They did well in school and worked hard to get good grades, but when it came to real life situations, they were a little lost.

When I got pregnant I vowed that I would teach Logan to work. I didn’t want him to become that spoiled kid that lives down the street. I wanted him to know that things didn’t just appear; he had to work for them. One of the biggest mistakes we make as parents is doing things for children that they can do themselves. It is much faster if we just get our children dressed, but they need the accomplishment of being able to do it themselves. You can probably sweep the floor a lot more quickly than your son, but he needs the experience of doing it for himself. If your child is old enough to cook, let them make dinner every once in a while. If they’re not quite old enough to do it on their own, create opportunities for them to help while you make dinner.

These are life skills that our children need to know. Doing everything for them is a disservice to them. When they go off to college they need to know how to do their own laundry and cook their own food. If you haven’t given them those opportunities from the time they were young, they will have no way of knowing how to do them when they are on their own. Do your kids a favor and teach them to work now. The sooner they get into the habit, the better!

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