Childhood Chores

chores.jpg

My childhood chores involved babysitting, folding laundry, doing dishes, baling hay, milking cows, and whatever else my parents needed.

We no longer milk cows. My kids are too small to bale hay (and we no longer square bale anything). Many of the jobs that were considered okay for my generation and generations previous are considered unsafe for children to do today.

The thing that is most unnerving to me is not that chores are unsafe, but rather the fact that we are raising future citizens who don’t know how to fold their own shirts.

Recently, I overheard two women talking about their teenage children. They were childhood chore funnydiscussing the fact that they don’t let their kids do the laundry. The reasoning for this was that they didn’t have the patience to teach their children how to use the washing machine and that the kids never folded the clothes the way they (the moms) like it.

Okay?!?

png 1ย If we don’t demonstrate patience for our children, how will they know what the skill of being patient looks like? If we don’t teach them how to use the washing machine, who will? Some nice lady at the laundry mat?

png 1ย Secondly, how can our children improve their skills, in things like laundry folding, if we don’t guide them? I don’t mind if my shirts are a bit sloppy when folded, at least somebody folded them.

Another time a mom told me she didn’t know how I had the patience to let my kids cook with me. “They are so messy, and I am already tired when I get home. I don’t want them underfoot when I am trying to get dinner on the table,” was what she told me.

png 1ย Cooking is messy. Learning is messy. Kids are messy. The cool thing about cooking childhood chores (2)with my kids is that they are learning. They learn how to make food. They learn how to clean up. They learn how to work as a team preparing, making, and serving our meals. Plus, my time with them is so precious in the evenings; it is nice to be able to do something productive.

I am not gonna lie. We don’t cook together every night. I don’t let my kids put the clothes away all the time. Sometimes I am too tired to be patient with them and sometimes they are too tired to work with me. But we still try most of the time.

It is really important that we give our kids chores. Let them set the table, make the lemonade, or put away the towels. Tell them to put away their shoes and pack their snack for the next day. It should be their job to help clear the table and dust the livingroom. The lessons learned and satisfaction gained from being a productive member of a family leads to productive members of our communities.

As summer begins, establish a simple routine for yourself and your kids. Post a calendar on the fridge assigning specific jobs for each day. When the expectations are outlined, they are much easier to attain and your child will hone their chore-completion skills in no time.

Put energy into helping your kids find self-satisfaction and worth in having household intents. Reward them for their efforts and congratulate yourself on raising a responsible and capable future generation.

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. No children were harmed in the completion of these chores.

 

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18 thoughts on “Childhood Chores

    1. Definitely not a mean mom. Maybe a crazy mom, but your kids probably had something to do with that ๐Ÿ˜‰ Mom, thank you for letting me be the dish washer and laundry service.

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  1. I have a feeling that there will be a lot of people in the future who don’t know how to cook because their parents thought it was too dangerous or too messy. I was only about six years old when I cooked my own eggs and toast. Now most six year olds are forbidden to put on a stove element and fry anything. I often wonder why today’s kids are thought to be so much less able than those from my generation.

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      1. Oh my, they must be! But it is so true.

        I’ll confess that I’m a middle-aged woman who never had kids. I guess if I had kids I’d be under pressure from the who knows who that has created this period of fear and danger. I’d like to think that I would have fought such pressure if I had kids. I’ll never know.

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  2. Amen, children need to learn how to handle things. Chores help them learn responsibility and how to grow into independent & responsible adults. If we teach them when they’re young (and more willing to help) they’d be pro’s at folding laundry when they’re teenagers.

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  3. I couldn’t agree more!! I guess those moms will have to become cleaning ladies once their kids move out and have their own home to take care of because they will not know how to do sh**t. My mother was exactly like you. She worked late, so I was responsible for dinner at the age of sixteen. Both me and my sister were responsible for cleaning our rooms and doing our own laundry. My mother would not touch our laundry from the age of 16/17, even if we were obviously living at home. My sister is 21 now and still lives at home, she cooks when she is not working nights, she does her own laundry and takes care of her room and helps in whatever my mother asks her to do. I’m not a mom yet, but me and my partner have agreed that as soon as they can walk, they will be learning how to do things and how to be independent (considering what is age appropriate, obviously!). You’re an amazing, mom. Do you know that? Please remember that. Sorry for the super long comment but I had a lot to say about this top. What an amazing post!!

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    1. Thank you, Cheila, I really appreciate your tooting my horn today. There are days when I feel like the meanest mom in the world, but then I remember it would be a whole lot meaner to let my children think I doubt their abilities. Kudos to our mama for giving her children the opportunity to learn and be responsible. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. what a great post… I especially appreciate you mentioning the idea of being patience helps our children learn patience… (had not thought about this and it is so much harder than I ever imagined).

    I also need to make sure I am giving my children more responsibilities…. thanks for reminding me.

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  5. I wish I had been given more chores when I was younger. I feel like it would’ve given me more of a natural instinct to clean vs. having to force myself to do it. My children will definitely have chores and I hope they will see the value in them.

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    1. There is definitely something to the nature of automatically doing jobs when they have been part of your routine as opposed to finishing tasks that are not part of our regular expectations. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for sharing!

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