Back to school season is a great time to take a closer look at what your kids are doing to contribute to the family. Are your kids pulling their weight? Chances are even the best of parents will answer with a resounding “NO!” I can hear you from my desk…
So, what can be done?
In our house certain jobs like picking up after yourself are responsibilities that are expected without reward. However, our kids have a list of basic chores that must be done to earn their weekly allowance and privileges (which will make a great topic for another day).
Certainly our list has evolved over time. We like to add new responsibilities at the beginning of the school year when the kids are feeling “older” and are excited to tackle more. Many of the jobs we assign build upon Maria Montessori’s list of age-appropriate chores for children.
Personal favorites include:
• Feed pets
• Make Bed
• Water houseplants
• Empty dishwater
• Weed garden
• Load dishwasher
• Hang/fold clean clothes
• Clean bathrooms
• Prepare a simple meal
• Mow lawn
• Cook a complete dinner
• Iron clothes
• Shop for groceries
If these activities seem like a stretch for your kids, you aren’t alone. Yet these basic building blocks are proven to produce independent and empowered young adults. The key is to let go of perfection and let your kids do their work on their own time with a clearly established deadline.
For this week’s Walk the Walk, start a conversation with your children about how they contribute to your family.
- What are your current responsibilities?
- Do you feel like you are doing a good job?
- Are you doing enough compared to other family members?
- Have you ever talked with your friends about their household responsibilities?
Then provide a short list of new responsibilities that would help your family run better and ask your child to volunteer for one. As always, encourage them to Walk the Walk — one step at a time.
Until Next Time,