Parents often wonder if they should give their kids chores to do in the home. Many parents feel that it is their responsibility to manage the household. and are unsure whether it's the right thing to do. Having three children means there is always some or other household chore that needs doing. Five people in one house means there is always laundry, always plenty of vacuuming to be done, always dusting, always dishes that need sorting. Always beds that are needing to be made and bathrooms that need cleaning.
I am a believer in getting children to help maintain the family home. Of course, the bulk of this falls to me as I am a work at home mom. I almost said SAHM just then, but my youngest is now at school full day, every day. So I work from home, blogging, and designing websites 3 days a week and I work in a school for the other two days.
I feel that now with my children being a little older, chores are more easily shared. In our home, we are lucky enough that my children do not need to share bedrooms and that we have a family room where all toys are kept. This means that I don't have the battle of enforcing tidying of shared bedrooms. My children cannot blame each other for the mess in their own bedroom. They are responsible for their own space. I do have expectations of each of them. Their rooms are a prime example. I require them to keep their space tidy. To make their own beds each morning and to hang up their school uniforms each day, ready for the next school day. They also have to put away their pyjamas in the morning. Obviously, I don't expect the same level of competency from my youngest as I would from my oldest. Her bed-making ability is far more refined but she receives the same praise as the little one who pretty much only manages to straighten his covers. It's that age-appropriate scale.
Shared spaces are a little more difficult to control. We recently converted our garage (the car did not fit in it, like most garages in the UK) into a family room and moved most of the children's toys from their rooms into this shared space. I was concerned that it would cause trouble because I anticipated them saying…but I didn't make that mess, he/she did it. I expected them to try to wheedle their way out of cleaning up by leaving it to the more willing sibling. But so far so good. It seems that the novelty of the new space is working and, along with a huge de-clutter of toys, we now have a more streamlined setup, with appropriate storage. This makes it is easy to tidy and I think that may be the key.
I've told you I am a believer in getting children to help at home, but I've not shared why I support this viewpoint. Apart from being raised to help at home in my childhood home, I have done extensive reading up about this topic, especially in regard to the appropriate ages for children to begin helping. What I found out only served to reinforce my view.
I am pleased to say that my children do their chores without a grumble. They even proudly took me to see how they made my bed for me this weekend.
So now you know I am a fan of getting children to help at home, that I think that the values taught through assigning chores are important. Do your children help at home? Do you think they should or shouldn't be helping?
I am a preschool and primary school teacher and mum to 3 children. I have been involved in education since 1997 and have trained in a variety of educational specialist areas. It is with this expertise that I write articles to help parents and educators provide quality learning experiences for the children in their care.