By James Druman
There was a time when the contribution children brought to a family household was essential for that family’s survival—when learning the skills it took to run a household was just as essential to the child’s survival when they grew up and moved out on their own. Times have changed, and in many ways things are easier for modern man. But there are still many ways, even if our lives are easier, that a child’s helping hand is crucial.
Chores are just as important as ever and too many of today’s parents are hurting their kids by letting them off “easy.” We may not be as taxed by nature these days, but we are taxed with time and the stresses of modern man, many of which are killing us all slowly. A little less stress is what we all could use, and more of our nation’s children could really use more basic life skills when they step out onto their own.
It’s easy, however, to just go on spoiling our children and just taking everything into our own hands. In most cases, it’s more of a case of us not wanting to deal with the trouble of teaching them when we are in a hurry and know how to get it done the best and fastest way on our own. This whole idea starts when our children are young, and we just develop a habit of doing it all ourselves until one day they are leaving the household unprepared.
Children derive a lot of positive benefits from helping out with chores besides just the practical knowledge. For one thing, it helps them to develop confidence, and it gives them a chance to work with other people, you, to accomplish something. They learn about respect for the wisdom of authority, the rewards of a positive review, and they develop the principles they need to be a hard worker later in life.
By sharing the responsibilities of running a household, you develop more cohesion in your family, and children learn to value the things most children take as given in this world of luxury we live in, especially when they have no hand in maintaining its comforts. To engage your child in the realities of life, you are better preparing them for life.
Start your younger children off light, but do start them off young. The simplest tasks can be delegated for getting help around the house until they’re ready for something more.
Children can put away their own clothes as you fold them up. They can mix a bowl of sauce while you are cooking dinner. They can set the dishes and silverware at the table. Simply pick up their toys and put them where they belong. When you start your children off young like this, you will be amazed at the thrill they get from being able to help with adult responsibilities, and it will be easier to get them doing more strenuous things as they get older, like mowing lawns or changing the oil in the car. It’s not about slave-driving; it’s about creating independence in a growing person.
James Druman is an author and world traveler who runs several businesses from his laptop while traveling the world. He currently offers freelance writing and a wide range of internet marketing services for offline and online businesses.