Posted by Walter
When I was a kid, there were two types of chores that I had to
do. The ones I hated and the ones I could not wait to do. I
remember doing chores as young as 7 or 8 years old, but the harder
ones started when I was about 12. Most of the chores that my mother
gave me had to do with cleaning inside the house. It was not my
idea of fun, but I did like drying the dishes and cleaning the
windows. It gave me a sense of satisfaction once the job was
I really liked mowing the lawn (especially with the riding
mower) and many jobs involving yard work. Watering the lawn
was also fun, because I would be able to get somebody wet every
once in a while and I could play on the lush, green grass after it
dried up a little. These were chores my Dad gave me and I took them
seriously -- as long as they didn't interfere with watching my
favorite sports teams play!
Today it can seem like a chore, at times, to assign, show and
double check my kids every time they are given a new task. I
always try to remember to find a way to thank and acknowledge them
for the job they did. It meant a lot to me as a child when my
parents were happy with my work -- or at least my effort.
My older kids are now 15 and 12 and are very willing helpers
when they get a chore they enjoy. They are not so excited to
do the rest of the chores. Some things don't change all that much
from generation to generation. My 12-year-old son says "Just a
minute, Dad. I just want to see this story on Sports Center….
Can't I do that tomorrow?" I can still hear my father's voice
boom back through my mouth as I holler out, "No, son, didn't you
hear me? This needs to get done now, before it gets dark and
you won't have time to do it tomorrow."
My 15-year-old daughter will just bat her eyes and say "Please,
can't I do this tomorrow? I will do something extra, too."
This weekend that amounted to an hour climbing one of our trees and
dropping several bags of dead branches to the ground. Our younger
children are 7 and the twins are now 5 and they love to help
out. The real bonus comes when they don't create a bigger mess
than we asked them to clean up! Sometimes they actually fight
over who gets to help on what job. It's pretty funny and I enjoy
I really do appreciate their help, especially as they get older
and they are able to do more things. I know I will miss their help
years from now when they no longer live at home. Many chores were
usually not my favorite thing to do as a child and my children
probably feel the same way, but as a parent I realize how important
chores are for a child's self-esteem, helping your family and
developing a strong work ethic.
How is your family at walking the choreline? What types of
chores do your kids love or hate to do?
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