Last Sunday I interviewed several kids in my group, asking them specifically about the chores they do in their homes. Here is a brief listing of each child’s gender, age and specific chores as indicated by them. When I asked them how they benefitted from doing chores (particularly cleaning), they came up with four main benefits:
1. Learn responsibility.
2. Learn how to use money (I infer from this that some of them are paid an allowance, but I didn’t think to ask specifically.).
3. Stay healthy by cleaning away germs.
4. Keep things clean so they do not get embarrassed if someone shows up unannounced.
Four year old boy: No chores
Five year old girl: No chores
Six year old boy: Clean room, wash dishes, put away dirty clothes.
Seven year old boy: sometimes wash dishes, sometimes help mow lawn, feed dogs, take dogs outside.
Seven year old girl: pull weeds, feed cats and dogs, clean litter box
Nine year old girl: clean room, feed dogs
Ten year old girl: clean room, dishes
Ten year old girl: clean after dog, mow lawn, fold clothes, water plants, clean room
Ten year old girl: wash car, make bed
1. First, these are chores which the kids listed about themselves. Obviously there may be additional chores. It is also possible that some might have embellished their roles just a bit.
2. I do notice a greater degree of responsibility with older kids.
3. I did not detect any bad attitudes about chores. I found this to be quite interesting, frankly. I kind of expected a few sighs, but none occurred, to their credit.
4. I perceived a sense of satisfaction in some of the kids, as if they realized they are growing up, and chores is a part of that process.
5. It occurred to me to follow up on this session in the future with encouragement that doing their chores is a key way they can contribute to their families. It helps parents. It helps siblings. It helps the entire family.