I can hear you from here, you’re insane! Well, let me explain. Our oldest started with a chore chart when he turned 3, so I am a big believer in kids chipping in, especially when he comes to their own spaces and belongings. However, our kids no longer do chores.
You see, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the word ‘chore’ sounds like a punishment or something to do with dread. It feels like the opposite of anything fun or rewarding. Why would they want to do that? Furthermore, I want my kiddos to have a connection to the fact they are a part of our family. It takes a lot of work (A LOT) to keep things rolling smoothly. You know the list: laundry, meal prep, dishes, packing lunches, packing backpacks, groceries, laundry, tidying toys, vacuuming, cooking, laundry, dishes… did I mention laundry or dishes?! So much laundry and dishes. Can I get an ‘amen’ here?
We are in this together. We all make the messes, so we all need to be a part of the solution. Yes, technically, I am usually the one making the mess to actually prepare our meals with dirty pans and always a cutting board on the counter. Every one of us is participating in eating and some of us are throwing our food on the floor. What a joy. Pots, pans, plates, cutting boards, utensils. These things need taken care of. There’s a table (or floor) to be wiped down as well. Each of us contributes to the mess of life, each of needs to contribute to cleaning up.
So, no, our kids don’t do chores anymore. They do, or make, contributions. Changing that one word, changes the whole thing. We all have a role in keeping this house clean(ish), getting our clothes ready for each week, and taking care of the things we own. If you can’t care for it, then maybe we shouldn’t have it. We talk to the boys about these things. This doesn’t mean they always love contributing and the timing is not usually what they want to be doing. However, they do know, working together is how this family does things. And yes, sometimes there is the bribe of a little money for their piggy banks so they can build up to buying a toy they want. And honestly, at this point, they’re usually pretty good at helping out to be a part of the solution.
Do your kiddos help at home? How do you feel about this shift?