I will admit that I don’t really enjoy cleaning. My sisters so aptly named me Carley-No-Pots growing up because when I washed the dishes, I would always leave the pots behind. It is bizarre because I thoroughly enjoy laundry and most outdoors chores, but dishes and vacuuming and scrubbing toilets provides me with about as much enjoyment as listening to a record of nails scratching on a chalkboard.
When I lived on my own and when Hubby and I first moved in together, the level of cleaning was pretty minimal. It’s easy wash dishes for one or two people and laundry wasn’t that bad. Don’t get me wrong, I despise cleaning but I’m no slob either. I knew that the amount of cleaning would increase dramatically once the Princess was born, but holy cow, some days it looks like a bomb went off in our home. Hubby and I will come together and clean our house from top to bottom and it seems like sometimes I will blink and Bam! it’s a mess again.
And lets not mention the laundry. Just as soon as I finish all the laundry there is 17 million more loads to do in only 2 days times. Gotta love the grass, juice, dirt and toothpaste stains. And then the dishes. The Princess reminds me of Boo from the movie Signs that uses a million different cups for water. I find cups in her room, my bedroom, in the toy box and even in the bathtub.
There are days where I wish I could close my eyes and snap my fingers and poof! all the cleaning would be done, but alas, I am my only maid and it’s a job that a) I don’t get paid to do and b) despise. C’est La Vie.
Many parents ask themselves when is the proper time to start giving their children chores, if ever. I had chores as a kid. I had to clean my room, cut the grass, weed the garden, pile wood, do the dishes, vacuum, laundry, the list goes on. I don’t think I am any worse for wear from it, in fact, I believe whole-heartedly it was the very best thing for me. My parents believed that chores instilled work ethic and that they were teaching their children life skills. I believe the same. My daughter is only 3 and she has chores, albeit age appropriate chores.
I created her a chore chart. She got to decorate it with stickers and colour it. Its broken up into sections; laundry, dishes, garbage, and toys. For laundry, all she has to do is put her dirty laundry in her hamper. For the dishes, she has to put her dinner dishes in the sink and when I do the dishes, she helps dry the spoons. For the garbage chore, I have her put her treat wrappers, or craft scraps in the trash. As for her toys, when she’s done playing with them, she simply has to put them away. They are not stenuous, or beyond her age level and comprehension. Everytime she fulfill’s a chore, she gets a sticker that goes on her chart. Once she has filled each of the sections, say 5 in each, she gets a treat. It could be a trip to the ice cream store, baking cookies with Mommy or a little toy or new colouring book. All her allowance goes directly into her bank account. I think it teaches her responsibility and it allows her to feel like she is contributing. She loves being a “big girl” and helping me. Its a great bonding experience for her and I as well.
So what are your thoughts? Chores for children – good or bad?