11
   

Children: Chores or no chores?

 
 
littlek
 
Reply Sat 20 Aug, 2011 03:11 pm
An article on boston.com reports on a survey querying parents on whether they have their children do chores.
( http://www.boston.com/community/moms/articles/2011/08/20/making_your_kids_do_chores_doesnt_have_to_be_a_fight_to_the_finish/ )

Less than 25% of the parents surveyed (don't know the total number) expect/demand that their kids do any work around the house. One psychologist spoke of the future of the nation depending on parents making their children do work. An other remarked that giving children chores will benefit both the kid and the family, relationship-wise. The article also makes some commentary as to why parents don't expect their kids to do work at home.
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Aug, 2011 03:22 pm
@littlek,
I remember my aunt (my loved aunt Nan) mentioned in passing many years later that she knew I never did any work around the house. I didn't answer (I must have been in my thirties) since I was stunned. Later, I figured it out.

Her daughter, disturbed and distraught for reasons other than housework, was sent to live with us for a year when she was twelve and I was eleven. That must have been one of the early reports from the distraught one. But, truthfully, I don't remember chores as being other than daily life. Pick up my room, mow the lawn, shovel snow off and on, weed, dry the dishes. After I was a teen, a lot of our family life went off in a hand basket and I both learned to cook and got a job as soon as I could, plus helped remodel, which stood me in good stead for later.

On my cousin, the year with us in what turned out to be my "normal" place of childhood, as well as hers, was really good for her. She and I managed to get along and become friends as well as cousins, though there had been bigtime resentment from her to start with. My mother outdid herself, and we both have good memories from that.

Anyway, I think household upkeep participation is a good idea.
On the other hand, some people are housekeeping-nutso and I thinking making a child be that way is, ah, off the beam.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Sat 20 Aug, 2011 05:22 pm
@littlek,
My daughter is two now, and she really likes to help with chores but is unable (just too young to do many things effectively, although she is able to put her own toys away). I'm wondering how long her interest in helping will last. Unfortunately, I suspect that her desire to assist with cleanup will probably diminish just as her skills increase. None the less, I think I'll continue to encourage her desire to help with chores. Hopefully it will end up being a lasting part of her personality.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Aug, 2011 05:49 pm
@littlek,
Wow!

Less than 25%? Really?

We go back and forth re: organized chore charts. Basically sozlet is not motivated by money/ stuff, and she'd rather just not do the chores than get a reward/ allowance.

She definitely helps around the house, though. She's expected to clean up her room, make her bed, keep her desk clean, set the table, put away clothes, etc. Then occasionally bigger projects (weeding the yard, whatever). This is just because she needs to do it and isn't chores per se.

Then, separately, she also sometimes gets or earns money, depending on the circumstances. Occasionally she'll be paid a fair amount for a major project. But generally money/ stuff and chores are not linked.

edit: Just read the article, I don't really agree with this part:

Quote:
Scott Saltzman, a Rhode Island psychologist who has studied child-parent relationships for more than two decades says the prevailing reason that chores have become a thing of the past in many families is that parents don’t have a good answer when their kids ask, “Why should I?’’

“Seriously, that is the key to the problem,’’ Saltzman says. “Chores are an afterthought these days, because parents don’t know how to answer, ‘Because I said so!’ ’’


They give plenty of good reasons in the article, and we've used those reasons and others. Because she needs to develop a good work ethic, because someday she's going to be on her own and needs to know how to take care of herself and her surroundings, because she needs to be a productive member of the household, because she can and why shouldn't she... lots of good answers besides "because I said so."
Reyn
 
  2  
Reply Sat 20 Aug, 2011 06:09 pm
@littlek,
littlek wrote:
The article also makes some commentary as to why parents don't expect their kids to do work at home.

Because parents these days are a bunch of wimps and want to be their kids' friend?

Oh, and the poor kiddies shouldn't have any homework given to them by schools, too. Mad
Mame
 
  2  
Reply Sat 20 Aug, 2011 10:23 pm
@Reyn,
Too right!!

My kids had chores, absolutely. I remember one time my son had to carry in a box of Bounce and loaf of bread - he was four. He didn't want to. I was parked in our garage and told him everybody had to help out and if he wanted to eat he had to carry in some groceries. He refused. So, my daughter and I left him in the car, the door was open, garage light was on - I told him "Come in with the bags when you're ready but don't bother unless you've got the groceries." My daughter kept looking out the window and saying, Aw Mom... Aw Mom (she was 10) - it was kind of funny. Anyway, after about ten minutes, he came trudging unhappily through the door with the bag Smile He threw it down and looked up at me, all mad. I said, "Thanks so much, Joel - we're making burgers, what would you like on yours?" and that was that. He's never been a problem since and now he's 28 Smile

When daughter was 10, one of her jobs was taking the garbage out to the curb (we all walk that way to the car anyway and it was all of what 15 feet? lol) - anyway, she kept forgetting and one day my then hubby told her that if she didn't take it out, it was going to stay in her bedroom until the next garbage day. I thought that was brilliant! Natural consequences! So anyway, one week, she invited a g/f overnight... she forgot about the garbage and my husband said, "Don't forget - the garbage is going to be in your room while Ann is over..." She was horrified! She begged, she pleaded... she wound up negotiating a really bad deal for herself (lol) with my husband in order to not have the garbage in her room (LOL LOL) but she really learned a lesson there!

So bottom line - Yes to chores! Yes to homework! Yes to apologies! Yes to savings! Yes, yes, yes!!!
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Sat 20 Aug, 2011 10:30 pm
@Reyn,
Reyn wrote:
Oh, and the poor kiddies shouldn't have any homework given to them by schools, too. Mad

Actually, there's data that indicates that homework is not linked to academic success. (In other words, assigning homework does not improve kid's skills.)
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Aug, 2011 10:45 pm
Yes, in our house there are chores to be done by everyone including the kid.
My daughter has to make her bed, clean up her room, empty the dishwasher,
take out the trash and once in a while clean out her drawers.
She is part of the family and as such we all have to do chores, why would I spare her?
She can make herself eggs & bacon for breakfast, spaghetti and soup. When she has friends for a sleepover at our house, Jane has to make breakfast for her friends too and clean up the kitchen afterwards.

We do have a housekeeper so I feel she's getting off the hook easy anyway.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  3  
Reply Sun 21 Aug, 2011 12:13 am
@DrewDad,
Don't know whether that's true or not (improving kids' skills), but doing homework made me remember more. Study, you know, is a good thing. You need those skills at some jobs.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Aug, 2011 12:43 am
@Mame,
Yeah, mame.

Well, it helped me. Don't know about everyone else.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Aug, 2011 02:59 am
@littlek,
chores for allowance, absolutely. My last kid in the house gets $10 a week for standard chores then $10 for each lawn mowing. He complains that he is underpaid, and I explain that this is what we pay, he can take or leave the money but the work is still his.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Sun 21 Aug, 2011 07:07 am
@littlek,
We're pretty lucky because Mo really likes to work. The more physical the work the better he likes it. But we don't really have chores and he doesn't get an allowance. He takes pride in doing a job well.

I agree with Soz that "because I said so" is a terrible reason for a kid, or anyone else, to do anything. I don't have a problem with Mo questioning me because I want him to feel free to question the adult who says "I have some candy in my van. Follow me."

I could write pages on homework but I'll just say the "work ethic" argument bothers the me terribly. The work ethic at our house is that you work hard -- at work. School is Mo's workplace. Family is important and time at home is time for family.
littlek
 
  2  
Reply Sun 21 Aug, 2011 03:51 pm
Something that is coming up, here and elsewhere, is the definition of chores. IMO, cleaning up after one's self (one's toys, for example) isn't a chore. Setting the table (for the good of the family) is (and unloading the clean dishes from the dishwasher, cleaning the bathroom, etc). I'm not sure that lawn mowing is a chore in my view. I think it takes a certain age and skill and maybe should be considered a separate thing. So..... clean up after yourself doesn't get included in allowance, therefore, but cleaning the bathroom does. And, mowing the lawn is extra pay. OMG, I agree with Hawkeye!
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Aug, 2011 03:54 pm
@littlek,
Don't worry. Happened to me once, too.
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  2  
Reply Sun 21 Aug, 2011 03:54 pm
@boomerang,
Quote:
I agree with Soz that "because I said so" is a terrible reason for a kid, or anyone else, to do anything.


I don't agree that it is bad, cross the board. I do think that if there's another excuse, it should be used instead of "because I told you".
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Aug, 2011 03:55 pm
@littlek,
Yeah, that's why I haven't posted. I don't think my kids ever had assigned "chores" but that doesn't mean they weren't expected to clean up after themselves and their guests.

Edit: I never had assigned chores either. My father used to tell/rant at my mother that we'd all turn out to be worthless slobs. He was wrong.
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Aug, 2011 03:59 pm
As for homework (big breath), I could go on and on..... but I'll try to keep it short. Homework is a way to, what's the word...., actualize knowledge gained in school. For some subjects, this is more important than other times. For example, math is completely dependent on what comes before. You can't multiply fractions if you can't multiply whole numbers (perhaps not the best example). I see children nodding and totally believing that they completely understand the lesson of the day only to go home and realize they don't get it at all. Homework, when well designed, is a way to catch that disconnect. And it is a way to practice the lesson to help set it in mind. Does a kid need 50 math problems on one lesson? Probably not. 15-20 would probably do.
JPB
 
  2  
Reply Sun 21 Aug, 2011 04:03 pm
@littlek,
I think homework needs to be something that the kids can accomplish on their own. I can't tell you how many times my kids were assigned homework that required a parent's involvement. For example, in first grade one of the math assignments was to drive around town and count the number of stories in various buildings and put them into groups by number of floors/building observed. First grade? Drive around town? Ah.... ok.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  3  
Reply Sun 21 Aug, 2011 04:06 pm
@littlek,
I think it depends somewhat on age and circumstances. We use a variation in a time crunch, which is "too complicated to be explained" -- that's specific to not having enough time to get into it, but it presumes a good reason, and the good reason will often be delved into later.

And there are things we explained at 5 that we didn't explain at 2, for example.

But overall I agree that it's important to teach kids to not just blindly accept what an authority figure says because that person is an authority figure.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Aug, 2011 04:24 pm
@littlek,
What you say worked for me. I was probably buzzed from my schooling many days (those damned nuns, they were really very good, at least in memory) and the homework I did get settled me down to digest the day, so that I wasn't clamfloogled the next day.
No way I could have kept up without that respite/review/answer these questions time - or maybe I could have, but I would have been way more stressed.
I didn't have help with homework though - another whole matter. I think that was good for me, but my parents were around, I could have asked if I needed to. I guess I liked "puzzles".

I not without some smarts, but also not all that bright. Repetition has always been useful for me to get a concept to go from (speaking pictorially, not anatomically) the front of my brain to getting imbedded. Or, embedded. Part of my brain network.

Not that I want to make Mo into me.. what a disastrous thought.

I guess I don't know re homework - all the ramifications, good and poor and remedies thereof.
Obviously, that's a personal recollection.

Anyway, chores. Some folks (children or adults) seem more likely to enjoy some chores and not others..
0 Replies
 
 

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