Do I have to? Now? Sigh. You might be hearing this a lot this summer, but keep in mind that if you teach your child to help around the house, it will pay off in the long run. Yes, sometimes it is easier to do it ourselves, but chores are important for several reasons. We all live here, so we should all help out in some way (depending on age of course). It teaches independence, time management, and responsibility. When your child goes off to college, he/she should know about basic housekeeping. They might think twice about leaving those blobs of toothpaste in the sink if his/her job is to clean the bathroom once a week. Also, we live in a time of instant gratification with video games and computers. Chores remind us that it takes work to reach the end goal and this is possibly THE most important lesson.
I admit that sometimes finding ways to motivate children can be a challenge. Consider setting time limits if your child is dragging his/her feet. “If this isn’t done in thirty minutes, you will not go to Sally’s house later.” Try to give them space to do the job while also setting guidelines of how you expect it to be done, this way you don’t feel like a constant nag. The child’s future is in his/her hands, very simple.
As we head into the school year and the activities increase, it is difficult to strike a balance between the busier schedule and home life. Consider having your child do one or two big jobs on the weekends along with the daily tasks of picking up dirty clothes, clearing the dinner table, etc.
help wash the car
help load/empty dishwasher
pick up sticks
take garbage out
help with laundry and eventually start doing own laundry
help make dinner/make small meals on own