Sunday, December 04, 2005

In praise of child labor

Why chores are good for our kids

If you're like Patrick Boyle, you had a lot of family responsibilities when you grew up. You probably did your fair share of setting the table, washing dishes, raking leaves and cleaning bathrooms. Perhaps you cared for younger siblings or painted the house. We learned important lessons from these experiences.

Now that we're older, we realize that our parents weren't mean. They were right. It's good for children to have chores. Chores build good work habits, discipline and character. Youngsters respond well to having real responsibilities that matter. Boyle writes more in the Maryland Gazette.

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6 comments:

letter shredder said...

when i visit my parents' house, my 4-yr-old brother welcomes me with a hug, he knows i bought something for him. as weeks pass, i realized that i should not give it easily. i asked him to do some tasks as well. i want to inculcate in him, somehow, that things of value are earned.

Jaimie said...

I haven't given Stella chores yet (given that she's not even 4 yet), but she understands that she is to put her dishes in the sink, pick up her toys, and place dirty clothes in the hamper. I can't imagine picking up after her for every little thing!

I figure if I introduce it now, it won't seem so foreign later.

DCS: What do you think about allowances? James and I had a little disagreement about this bc he doesn't think kids should be paid money for jobs around the house (bc they are supposed to do it), but I do. What do you think?

Brea said...

I think chores are great - just everything in moderation. I also think parents should praise a job well done - even if it something they should/have to do.

Deb Sistrunk said...

Jaimie, I think what you are doing with your daughter is GREAT! You're such a good mom!

About the issue of allowances, here is my opinion. You have to make up your mind what's best for your child. In general, I think allowances are a good way to teach children about responsibility and how to manage money. You can also use allowances as an opportunity to teach children about saving. I think even pre-school children can start learning the basics of managing money - and what happens if you don't manage your money wisely. There is research to support this.

Since you are an educator, you know the most effective ways to reinforce good behavior in children. It's up to the parents to decide when to give allowances, the reason for allowances, and the amount.

Again, I think Stella is blessed to have such a caring mom!

Deb Sistrunk said...

Letter Shredder: I think your little brother will greatly benefit from what you are teaching him. What a wise sister you are!

Deb Sistrunk said...

Thanks for weighing in on this, Brea. This is how I taught my own children responsibility. In addition, I know that children love being praised for something they've done well. Praise is good for building self-esteem and character.

By the way, as a kid, I was one of those girls who had yard duty. We had a push mower and a huge yard that sat on a hill. I have my father to thank for helping me to develop good arm and leg muscles. :-)