My kids have always helped around the house. When my oldest was not quite 2, my husband was amazed one day when I asked Bookworm to go put his socks away and he did. He didn’t get them all away correctly but they were in the dresser, each pair in a different drawer :). He was quick to be obedient and helpful and tried his best! I believe that part of training our children to someday be an adult, is teaching them how to do life skills that they will use everyday when they get older. I have all boys so some may say well they don’t need to learn “women’s work” but they do, what if they do not marry? What if their wife falls ill or any numerous other things that could happen. My boys also learn how to do manly chores with Daddy. I know some parents who are so over worked and tired because they do not teach their kids how to work from an early age. There is a saying, “many hands make light work”. I love this because it is so true. When we all jump in with our chores in this house it doesn’t take long to whip it into shape. So what are some chores that my kids have done over the years…..
1. Bookworm, who is 8, learned early to pick up his own room and put away what laundry he could. He also could help put away pull ups and groceries and even put away clean dishes from a very early age. I start my kids doing chores once they can walk well. Bookworm since he is older knows how to cook certain foods, he can make a sandwich, and fix basic meals for not just himself but others in the family. He can change his brothers pull up if needed and assist in getting him dressed. He can clean pretty well on his own and can help his brothers clean as well. He can even do many deep cleaning chores such as cleaning woodwork, dusting etc. He also knows how to load and unload the dishwasher, take out the trash, and sort and fold laundry and put it away. He is also a GREAT librarian and helps keep our home school books straight.
2. Turtle is 5, and can do many chores as well! He is quite the helper and asks all the time if he can help. He can clean up his room very well, help his little brother clean his, he can dust, he can clean the cabinets well too. He does a good job with wiping of counters and the table. He is good at picking up the house and also loves to help unload the dishwasher. He loves to be right in the middle of a project learning how to do things. He is being taught how to keep the home school books straight and he loves to help cook too.
3. Nemo is 3 and he can pick things up, clean his room with minimal assistance ( someone does check it though), he can also help put books on the kids bookcase, get and change his own pull up, give the dog treats and food. He also helps with many other things.
I have heard parents say that they don’t let their kids help because it takes longer, while this may be true you are missing the heart of the training. Many talks about life can be had while doing chores together, also kids are learning by what they are seeing. How would you feel if every time you asked to help you were told no I will just do it. Eventually a child will stop asking, stop trying and give up. Then as the child becomes a teen a parent wonders why the child is lazy.
The Bible says train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. I believe this goes hand in hand with their relationship with Christ but I also believe this goes with life skills, if a child is taught to work as a child he will learn to work as an adult. We are not raising children, we are raising adults!
So parents I urge you while it may take longer to do house work, let your children help. Give them washcloths to fold, while you fold the rest of the laundry, let them put the soap into the washer, let them help you cook. Your shaping hearts and souls and as they grow up you will not look back and say I regret letting them help because it took to long, you will be so glad you did because they will become what they learn.
Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest 11 and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man. Proverbs 6:6-11