A few days ago I posted a photo on Instagram of my 4-year-old helping me spread kitty litter in the cat box with his own green scooper. Most of our followers liked this, but one person didn’t.. they commented that I was “using” my child… because my child has chores.
Show of hands: how many parents did chores when they were younger? *raises hand* How many parents have children that help with household chores? *raises hand again*
I do not see anything wrong with a child having chores, at all, as long as the chores are appropriate.
Chores help children prepare for growing up, for adulthood. I don’t want my children growing up not knowing how to prepare a meal, vacuum the floor, sort laundry, etc. I try to actively teach my children life skills, things they need to know, every day. I do not see how preparing your family for the future is “using” your children?
I still do a majority of the housework, and by majority I mean 99% or more. I love when my family pitches in and does things to help.
As many of you know, my husband has surgery recently and I’ve had to pick up everything he usually does, one of those things being mow the lawn. I do this on week days and happened to do it on Tuesday this week. My 4-year-old watched me and then decided, on his own, he was going to go grab his broom and sweep the grass off the sidewalks.
My son does a lot to help without being asked, some things are just expected of him. His chore list looks something like this:
- pick up his toys
- empty trash from his bedroom
- empty trash from his bathroom
- Bring down dirty laundry hamper
- clean up his eating area
- Help clean litter box
That’s all he’s asked to do consistently, meaning once or twice a week if that. If he eats a snack in the living room, he’s asked to clean it up afterwards, even if that means vacuuming. So there are some things he helps with outside of the list, but none of it is forced nor that difficult.
He loves helping outside doing yard work or gardening, he even has his own shovel and tool set. He also enjoys using the Swiffer Wet Jet mop, helps sort laundry into piles and load the washer/dryer.
I honestly don’t think that’s too much to ask. I remember washing dishes, doing laundry, baby sitting siblings, taking care of pets, etc. when I was younger. There are those life skills again.
On top of chores, my 4-year-old can also pop his own popcorn, grab his own snacks, open juices boxes, put away his own laundry, get himself dressed, wash his own hair, and on & on.
My step-son, who is ten, has a little bit more to his chore list.. but not by much. His list consists of:
- picking up his toys
- empty trash from his bedroom
- empty trash from bathroom
- bring down dirty laundry hamper
- clean up eating area
- dust bedroom
- dust game consoles
- help pick up dog poop
I want my children to be successful and not have to rely on myself, or their significant other, for everything when they get older. Isn’t that what most parents want? I am unsure how teaching my children things they need to know is “using” them.
Anyways, I guess the point I’m trying to make here is: Yes, my kids have chores. No, there is nothing wrong with it. You raise your kid, I’ll raise mine; thank you.