I have thought about the debate whether you should make children do chores. It is one area where many people have firm beliefs they are either all for the idea or totally against it. Yet, I have always been split, I have never really pushed chores on any of my kids but that doesn’t mean that it is right. Since they are now older I do wonder if I have restricted their growth into adulthood by having to learn how to do these chores themselves as they left home.
Do You Make Your Children Do Chores
The reasons behind me not specifying chores for my children were simple, I didn’t work outside the home so I was able to do the housework myself.
I was a perfectionist and this meant for me that only I could do the cleaning right, anything less and I felt I would need to do the task again so it was easier for me to do the tasks myself.
For me I had children, not little workers, I wanted them to have a childhood, to be children, to have fun and not to have to do things around the home. Don’t get me wrong, they did help and occasionally I would ask them to do something for me, but it was never something they had to do daily or weekly.
Chores For Kids
Looking back I can see that maybe I missed a great opportunity to teach my children about what you need to do and having responsibility for an area of the home. After all, they were living there!
I think one area that I have found difficult is the following through, I am not good at forcing the task. I have learned over the years that it is important to choose your battles carefully with your children and fighting over something as simple as putting the bins out is not something I think important.
However, that doesn’t mean that chores for children are right. Teaching life skills and responsibility is important and I was lucky that all my children would volunteer to do certain things, often it was cooking and this to me was a battle I then won.
There are plenty of examples of chore charts that are great for children, knowing appropriate ages for the different tasks. However, you have to think about what you want and what you need as a family.
Organizing Household Chores
The best place to start when thinking about who should do what task is to actually list the chores that need doing.
You will have your basic list:
- Washing and drying clothes
- Washing up dishes
- Cleaning the bathroom and toilet
- Cleaning the kitchen
Obviously, you can break these down into smaller more manageable tasks, depend on the age of your children.
Having a list of chores that each family member is responsible for is a great idea, it shows the adults doing their chores and working together as a team and a family.
The most important aspect is following through; your child must know that they need to do their task or face a consequence. It isn’t always plain sailing when it comes to encouraging children to help with tasks.
Everyone needs to take responsibility for the action and for me it just seemed like extra work to force these tasks when it was simpler for me to do the task.
Should Kids Have Chores
The more I think about this the different options and ideas spring to mind. Often we fill our kid’s lives with after school activities and homework that fitting in those extra chores seems an impossible task.
However, I also think about the respect that a child will have for their environment if they’re made to clean it. But, as adults we need to clean and to do chores around the home, should we make this a part of childhood too?
Does doing chores, even those appropriate to age, teach them important life skills that playing and learning doesn’t?
Paying Your Child To Do Chores
If you pay your child to do chores is this any better than making them do the chores for free? I have paid my children for different tasks, but they benefited all parties.
Does paying for chores make it less like demanding and giving them a choice, for me, it was a way to get more done than I had time for and it worked.
It does teach them they have to work for their money and it just doesn’t get handed out to them when they feel like it. However, there are children around the world who get exploited and forced into low paid work.
I am not saying that parents paying small amounts for chores is in any way to blame for this exploitation, but without understanding laws and needing money to live, children end up doing odd jobs for cash payments and often for very low monetary value.
Therefore, I am not advocating either option, but I do want you to think carefully as to your views on the subject. In an ideal world, it would be nice to think that a child is just a child, with the innocence and freedom to play and learn. Unfortunately, we don’t live in this world and we have to make choices and decisions that are right for our own families and circumstances.
Do you make your children do chores?