Thursday April 4 2013 223 pm
Leave a Comment
Every now and then, I hear a story or read an article that makes me think, Damn, I’m turning my kids into slackers.
A parent I know tells me about her kids who make their own breakfasts, pack their own lunches and all but drive themselves to school. An article notes that ten-year-olds are perfectly capable of cleaning the bathroom. Someone else mentions that his kid shoveled the driveway after the latest snowstorm–actually removed the snow, as opposed to digging a fort out of it.
My children do not do these things.
To be clear, my kids do have responsibilities around the house. Actually, that’s what we tend to call them: “responsibilities around the house”–just like my husband and I have, only far fewer. But often, I wonder if they have enough of those responsibilities.
Let’s face it: from a parenting perspective, chores are tough. There’s the complaining, the whining, the arguing. There’s the undeniable fact that with young kids or even older kids learning to do something new, it can take more time to teach them to accomplish something than it takes for you to do it yourself. There’s the reality that today’s kids are busy, families are over-scheduled, and if you’re desperately searching that Google calendar looking for a place to pencil in some family time, do you really want to spend it trying to convince the kids to do chores?
But then there’s the flip side: it’s important to teach kids responsibility and the daily life skills that come from accomplishing chores. Plus, there’s a lot to do around the house, and shouldn’t the younger people who live there contribute?
So how do you make it happen?
I suspect there are as many thoughts about chores as there are parents, but here are few strategies to consider for getting school-aged kids to participate in chores. (more…)