Chores, Chores, Chores

Well the verdict is in: The last 4 guests on Natural Moms Talk Radio sang the praises of chores. If you’re not giving your kids regular work to do around the house, you may be doing them a disservice.

It occurred to me recently while washing dishes (where I get my usual epiphanies), that the glut of information we parents have received in recent years on self esteem and kids may have come from our own fear of putting our kids to work. After all, did little Johnny, who ran a tractor at 8 years old and could see in a physical way how his contribution helped the family eat, have self esteem issues? Did young Mary, who pounded dough for the morning loaf and then gathered eggs for breakfast, worry about the size of her rear end?

Something tells me, no. Perhaps by letting our kids play all the time instead of having them contribute to the family work in a very real sense, we’re actually robbing them of what makes them feel worthwhile… worthy work.

I agree very much with Kelly Nault, author of When You’re About to Go Off the Deep End, Don’t Take Your Kids With You who insists that kids like chores.

What can your kids do to lighten your load and contribute more to family harmony? My almost 8 year old cleans his bathroom every day (his is cleaner than mine, hands down!), vacuums and sweeps occasionally, helps fold laundry and assists Daddy with outdoor chores.

5 year old Julien brings me his laundry basket, puts clean laundry away, and sweeps under the kitchen table every day.

Even 3 year old Ilana can fold washcloths (and does a decent job with the towels too), put her clean clothing away, wipe up her spills, pick up toys, and “wash dishes”. (You’d be surprised how clean they’ll get with an energetic toddler swishing them around in a bowl of warm water and suds!) Each of them is also responsible for putting their dirty dishes in the dishwasher. I don’t pick up dirty laundry off the floor either.

Put the kids to work- you’ll be doing them and you, a favor!

More resources:
How do I get my kids to clean? and Chores for children

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One Response to Chores, Chores, Chores

  1. Carolyn says:

    I loved this week’s show! I have 3 kids ranging in ages 10 down to 3 with another blessing on the way and I can honestly say that I am (working on “was” here) one of those mom’s who give 110% to the kids and leave nothing for myself. This show really opened my eyes in that regard. I now understand why I am so stressed and wore out. In the past if I took any time to do anything for myself I was overtaken with guilt. I am now trying to take Kelly’s advice and take some time for myself. I also agree wholeheartedly with giving the children responsibility. My only wish is that I had started this sooner with my 10 yr old! Thanks so much for all you do!

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