Chores are not something I like to do, let alone my children. They each have their respective jobs, Katilyn (12) will clean the bathrooms, do dishes daily, feed and water her bunny, and clean her room, along with additional chores as needed. Berlyn (6) will fabreeze, clean her room, sweep, and help fold laundry, and Kirsten (2) will sit down with me and clean her toys. We each get a sani-wipe (that kills germs) and wipe all the toys in the house. She does 1 to my 20 but she enjoys it. She also likes to fold towels (and mess up the other folded piles of clothing).
You would think my house was a spotless paradise after hearing how well my kids help. But it is not exactly paradise. I have to “remind” each child of their jobs daily, most days I am embarrassed if an actual adult comes over to visit (I am a Martha), and my kids’ idea of clean does not exactly match mine (FYI – I would not eat off our dishes most days).
However, I am grateful for the paradise I DO have. Usually spread out book bags after school means homework is being done first. Any kid in the neighborhood can walk into the house and WANT to play at our house, toys all over means they are playing with gifts they’ve received, and the carpets are pretty stained anyway, so I don’t mind the spills we do have from children exerting their independence.
I’ve read all this research on how my kids should do house work now, because if I delay in assigning child responsibilities, the harder it will be for them to learn the basics of reliability and dependability later on.
And YES, I want to do everything they do over again the correct way (my way), but I would continually be a maid and that is actually not what mothers are for (big shocker I know). Kids do like to stay busy though, so I am using that desire for as long as I can. Age appropriate chores help build coordination and a healthy attitude toward work and responsibility. They learn valuable lessons in being responsible. They learn that God expects us to take care of the things He has provided. They learn how to be a valuable worker with great life skills in future jobs.
And my biggest piece of wisdom is pick your battles. Don’t pile on too much for each child. Even God only gave 10 commandments. Also though rules and chores are set up by the parents, include your children if you can. Remember their different personalities. I have one who thinks wiping things is the best game ever. She gets to wipe things. I have one who thinks folding is magical. She gets to fold. But no matter what, I have to remember that they are looking up to me to be an example. Am I a Martha worried about cleanliness or am I Mary enjoying those around me.