Q&A: Making time for chores

Q: The pace of life has hit high gear with school now in full swing. With the children’s endless activities and homework requirements, I sometimes wonder if they should have the added burden of doing chores. What do you think?

A: Children ought to perform certain tasks around the house simply because they are part of the family. Yes, it’s important for families to prioritise and manage schedules so that life isn’t harried and out of balance for children or their parents. But depriving children of the opportunity to grow through domestic contributions isn’t the best place to cut corners.

Unfortunately, some parents decide it’s easier to do the work themselves. That’s especially true if the children are uncooperative, and getting them involved becomes a chore all its own. As parents, realise that household chores represent some of the most significant opportunities to prepare them for adulthood.

For younger children, simple tasks like picking up toys or making their bed can be an ideal way to build self-confidence. When a toddler successfully completes small jobs they’re given, they feel good about themselves, and they’ll want to take on even bigger challenges. That’s a quality they’ll need as they move through their primary school years.

If you have an older child, you’ve probably encountered a different scenario. As children enter adolescence, helping mum and dad around the house loses its lustre. Nevertheless, parents shouldn’t give in to complaining too quickly. Washing the dishes may seem insignificant, but even mundane tasks can help teens develop the maturity they’ll need as adults to do what needs to be done.

​​© 2018 Focus on the Family.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.

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