Chores: A Family Affair
We all know the word, some of us may despise the word. No, we don’t despise a clean house (unless you are just weird and enjoy the mess), but for some of us cleaning is just one of those things we get tired of doing day in and day out. Especially once you have kids the mess multiplies and then it feels like you never get a handle on it.
That is until you kids reach the age to start helping in tackling their messes.
*cue evil laugh*
When to start
As some of you may know I have two children ages 11 and 4. I’m not sure if you are aware, but kids make messes at all ages. As much as I want to be super mom (and I know there are a lot of moms out there that do it all on their own) I knew it was not feasible for my sanity, nor their upbringing to only rely on myself to tackle the messes.
Now I grew up doing chores and my mom was a stay at home mom as well. So once I remembered that (and also that it didn’t kill me to do chores), I decided that at age 7 my son needed to start helping. Like really helping. Now I don’t mean that before he wasn’t doing anything. Once they reach the age of understanding, so maybe 3, I start having them help pick up toys and stuff. We always start small.
My Son’s List
At age 7 we start with little stuff like learning to straighten up the bathroom and also picking up bedroom, including making the bed. Full on cleaning like going through stuff alone doesn’t come until much later, but we will go through toys and stuff together and he would get a say in what goes and stays.
Between age 9-10 we move on to adding vacuuming and cleaning the glass to his list of chores. I feel like these are still easy to learn and a good skill to know as well. I look at things that would help me out. He only vacuums maybe once or twice a week.
By age 11 he has also added dinner dishes, putting sheets on the bed, dusting, and learning to change the laundry around. He has also taken on learning how to mow the yard which is very helpful.
My Daughter’s list
Since she’s only 4 her list isn’t as long as her brother’s , but obviously as she gets older they will share the chores and our charts will change.
So for her at age 4 she picks up the shoes at the end of the day and puts them in the shoe box, helps pick up the toys and other stuff in the living room, and is slowly learning how to clean her room.
Thoughts and Reasonings
Before any perfect mommies come for my head, hear me out. It will not kill them to help out around the house. My kids are not my servants and they do not cater to me. They help me clean up THEIR messes that they make. Really the chores I have them do is only a small portion of the chores that have to be done around the house. I still take up the majority of the work. However my reasoning behind having them do chores is so that they learn how to take care of themselves. I will not be around forever, nor will I be cleaning their houses when they become adults. They have to learn how to be self sufficient adults and not expect to always be catered to them. The world doesn’t work that way and I’d rather them learn now while they are young and impressionable than to be blindsided as adults. Chores build character and helps your child grow. I just want both of my children to know that chores are not singled out for women to do nor is it ok to rely on someone else to clean up their messes.
Before we start trying to analyze that last sentence just know, your kids won’t be kids for long. They will eventually grow up into adults. What kind of adult do you want them to be? Productive members of society who are self sufficient or someone who constantly relies on someone for even the basic of needs?
Don’t worry, my children still get to be children. I’m not this evil person who makes them clean all day or not make messes. They still play, they still make messes, and I’m pretty sure they are determine to bring the house down. I am hoping by doing chores that maybe they will rethink the size of the next tornado they conjure up.
One can only hope.