Monday, December 19, 2011

Hard Work is Sensible

When you were growing up, did your mother do all the work around the house?  Or did you have to pick up your toys?  Or clean your room?  Or sweep the floors?  Or help with the dishes?  Most likely you had some type of chores, especially as you got older and your number of siblings increased.  Now that you have kids of your own, do you make them do chores?  Or do you do everything for them so that they don't have to work?  Regardless of whether you homeschool or send your children away to school, chores are an important aspect of growing up that should never be dispensed with for several reasons.

1.  Chores build the family.  When a child has specific jobs to help out around the house, that child is contributing to the family unit.  A family that works together, builds together.  If the mother is stuck doing all of the housework and laundry etc., chances are that she will either develop a very short temper or she will have no time whatsoever to spend with her children (both of which are terrible options.)  While the children may not believe this at the time, chores help give them both a sense of accomplishment and of belonging to the family.  Because they are given responsibility, they have a keener sense of duty to the family.  As they grow older, they will (hopefully) realize a) how much a clean house makes everything run smoother and b) how much they enjoy a job well done.

2.  Chores build character.  If your children grow up being either waited on hand and foot or without responsibility, they will develop a character of "everything hard will be done for me."  By giving them chores and specific obligations young, you can train your children that a) hard work is a good and necessary thing and b) develop a sense of responsibility in their lives.  With chores comes a type of discipline in their daily and weekly routines that they can carry throughout their lives.

3.  Chores are a life-long tool.  Unless they marry extremely wealthy or make a boatload of money themselves and can, therefore, afford a housekeeper or a cleaning lady, a child who grows up without learning basic housecleaning etc. will be at a loss when they have their own household.  Every child should know the basics of how to properly clean a room, especially the kitchen and the bathroom.  These are basic, everyday skills that they will use throughout their lives.  They will help them pass their dorm inspections.  They could very well help fund their college education.  They will make their future homes so much easier to deal with.  

Growing up, I had several chores.  My first chore at the age of two was scrubbing the marker off the walls after I drew on the paper and the walls.  My second chore was helping put my toys in a paper bag to put away for a very long time because I wouldn't pick them up by myself.  My third chore was babysitting my younger siblings so that my pregnant mother could take a nap.  Filtered in between these more unique jobs, I had to sweep, do the dishes, help with the laundry, clean my room, etc.  Of course, I didn't have all of these to do at the same time until I got much older, but they were implemented nevertheless.  As my sisters and I grew up, the major chores were rotated.  One of us did dishes.  One of us cleaned bathrooms.  One of us helped with the laundry.  One of us swept and vacuumed.  This way we were neither overwhelmed nor underworked.  And all of us have learned or are learning how to properly care for a household.

To be continued . . . 

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