CHILD versus CHORES
Is it just me, or do we appear to have raised a generation of young people who believe that money grows on trees, the bedroom fairy changes their bedding and tidies their rooms for them and that the cutlery somehow miraculously goes from their empty dinner plates and lands spotlessly in the kitchen drawer.
Or is it possible I sound like all the generations of parents before me who have moaned about having “just mopped that floor and now look at it!!!” I remember having these exact thoughts a couple of years ago whilst locked in a battle of wills with my then 9-year-old daughter, about why it was, in fact, necessary for her to tidy her room unless she wanted to see its entire contents in the rubbish bin. In this modern age, it is increasingly normal for both parents to be out at work in order to pay the mortgage, run their 2 cars, pay for that all-inclusive holiday where one child goes free and in between all that fund their children’s ever-increasing extracurricular activities… but wait… there’s more…apparently, we have to maintain show-home standard houses too.
It occurred to me at one point, when I was 10 years old, that my job was to do the family ironing each week and my brother and I would have to do the washing up after dinner, yet I rarely hear about children doing household chores nowadays. When I tried to relate those memories to my own child, I did consider whether I felt it was appropriate for her to be ironing or whether there were more suitable chores that I could expect her to complete, so I went in search on the internet.
Pinterest was like an awakening of all the things I could ask my child to do and not fear she’d report me to Childline for promoting child labour! As a result, I’ve compiled some of the most popular chores I found and split them into age groups. Those of you with toddlers will be excited to know that even they can’t escape taking part in the day to day running of your home. As for the teenagers in your life… have no fear, I found plenty to keep them occupied. Most importantly, don’t be shy in showing your child how to perform and complete what will essentially become a life skill, so that they too can run and maintain their own home in the future.
Here are some ways chores are beneficial for your child:
Obedience – One of the 1st virtues a child learns. They respect the instructions & directions of their elders.
Brain Development – Research has shown that when a child is asked to do a job, their brains do a mathematical calculation with how to do it, how to start and what will be the shortest, fastest way of completing the task. In other words, problem solving!
Routine – Engaging a child to do a regular chore on a daily basis like making their beds or putting their washing in the laundry basket sets up a routine teaching them certain life skills like planning and prioritising their time.
Responsibility – A regular chore can be taken on as a responsibility where your child completes daily chores without being asked and understanding there may be consequences if not completed.