Monday, March 21, 2011
Chores, Chores for Everyone!
Recently a friend told me that on her children’s 10th birthday, she wrapped a bottle of Tide and gave it to them. The message: Time to wash your own laundry.
I don’t remember when I started doing laundry or how MY mother taught me to do things like dishes, laundry, cleaning, etc. I just know I could take care of most household tasks solo. By 18 my sister and I were self-sufficient enough to take care of the house and farm by ourselves while my parents lived at the hospital in a nearby town when my baby brother was treated for spinal meningitis for 21 days.
Now, we don’t live on a farm, so I don’t need as much help as my mother did. But I do believe in children pitching in because the work of maintaining a family should simply not fall to one person. And while I’m getting a handle on my family’s new situation (my new job, hubby’s long days, and extra childcare) our strained finances require me to do more cooking, with virtually no eating out. That takes time – which I have less of.
I say all that to say this – my children need to step up to the plate and assist in the tasks that are required to keep family life running smoothly. Currently, they put away their own laundry, empty the dishwasher, and pick up their rooms. So they don’t do chores on a daily basis.
That has to change, because I can’t do it alone.
Only 2 months from 11, Drama Queen is about to start doing her own laundry. I think she and her brother could also fold the towels for their own bathroom too. Maybe empty the trash? Wipe down the table after dinner every night (they already do this at school). Dust sometimes?
It’s amazing how having one small thing done by someone else can lighten a mother’s load.
So tell me, what tasks did your kids do at what age? When do you think it is appropriate for them to learn new chores? How much do you ask them to help around the house?