Kids, chores, and lazy parenting

I am a happy “lazy parent” as some might put it, I take pride in making my little kids do chores at home.

I believe chores and responsibilities teach kids important life lessons and it’s never too early to start. While it’s easy for us parents to cater to our kids every need, serve them, and do things for them in the long run this will hurt them.

We wouldn’t want a full grown man calling us from his college dorm asking us for help with his laundry? We have to remember that our kids will grow to become adults and it’s our job to get them ready for the responsibilities that come with adulthood.

That and the fact that they won’t have us forever. At some point we’ll have to leave them and let them have their own lives away from us.

Wouldn’t it be nice to know that after your kids move out they will be able to fend for themselves?

Because you taught them how to cook they won’t binge on junkfood and take out all the time when they live on their own. Because you taught them to tidy up they won’t be living in an apartment that looks like a jungle and call you every week to ask help to clean up.

Plus teaching chores helps kids value hard work, it teaches them the essence of having responsibilities, the importance of being dependable, and what it means to be a crucial part of a team.

Values he will be needing to survive as a productive individual for the rest of his life. There are a host other benefits of giving kids chores at home as early as possible.

You’ll be amazed at how independent they can get and what they can do even with their tiny hands and feet.

It’s important to note though that parents need to assign only what you think your kids can do considering his age, but teaching simple tasks as picking up his toys and putting them back in baskets can get him ready for more responsibilities in the long run.

What others don’t get about this though is that this isn’t as easy as it seems. Parents who assign kids tasks at home don’t necessarily sit around waiting for their kids to finish cleaning.

This takes a lot of work too. You need tons of patience, and understanding as you teach your kids how to do things.

There are times when you’ll go nuts waiting for them to finish a task or do it right, sometimes you’ll be tempted to do it yourself.

Because its so much easier to do it yourself. A task, say setting the table could take a minute for you but 15 for your kid who needs to figure out where plates and spoons go.

They won’t always do a good job too no matter how hard they try, so you’ll be tempted to do everything again yourself. Redoing things and showing then how takes time and energy to do.

Teaching them tasks is an exercise that you need to do daily, it will test your patience and willingness to teach. It will drain your energy. You’ll feel like doing things yourself is a lot easier, less time consuming, and require less work.

But you have to realize that this is an investment on your kids that they will benefit from for a very long time.

Author: Loraine Balita-Centeno

I'm a Manila based journalist who's been working in the industry for 12 years. I've written pieces for newspapers and magazines based in Manila and some abroad. I'm a work-at-home-mom of two so I spend my days writing or editing with a toddler clamped around one leg and a pre-schooler asking me questions every 10 minutes.

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