Chores with the Family

With Mother’s Day just about a week away I was thinking about gifts that kids give moms and one of those gifts is often coupons for chores or activities that moms like to have done but kids aren’t always so thrilled about. I did that for a couple of Father’s Days but I don’t remember them really being used so I must not have picked the right things to offer. Regardless, the whole line of thinking led into a conversation with my partner about kids doing chores (and parents doing chores as well). We got to talking about appropriate ages for various chores and appropriate chores for kids but it all boils down to one question: what are you teaching your kids?

I totally believe it’s essential to let kids be kids and have lots of playtime and opportunities to be creative. You’re only a kid once and some of the play and creativity are essential for helping to shape and educate kids. But I also believe that it’s important to teach kids about responsibility, and one of the ways to do that is chores.

Chores can include all manner of things from laundry to garbage to homework to cleaning and cleaning up. You can get really creative with it or just keep it simple and straightforward. I think it’s good to expose your kids to all manner of chores so they can know how to deal with those responsibilities as they get older, but you should not disregard a child’s request to do one set of chores over another (I always hated making my bed and still do but don’t mind most other chores). Most kids can help with chores whether it’s something as simple as setting the table or picking up toys and putting them in a bin.

I think part of the issue is that we as adults haven’t done as good of a job as we could showing our interest in chores or at least our willingness to take care of them. I’m not suggesting that I’m going to enjoy making the bed anytime soon, but I’ll do it because I know it matters to my partner. So maybe it’s not that your kids dislike chores, just that you haven’t framed it right for them yet, or helped them see how it makes them part of the team of your family.

So what fun (chore) activities are you going to do this weekend with your family?

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