Thursday, February 10, 2011

Kids Need Work

Kids need to learn how to work.  I'm not advocating child labor.  I am advocating teaching children how to do small tasks early on; such as picking up their toys, throwing their dirty clothes in the hamper, and picking up the Cheerios they threw all over the kitchen.  Kids need to be taught how to take care of themselves and their homes, and that involves work.

When a kid grows up and leaves home, he or she should know how to do laundry, wash dishes, prepare meals, dust, vacuum, clean the bathroom, take out the trash, organize their belongings, and complete other necessary chores.  Rather than trying to give your children a crash course in domestic tasks like these just before they walk out the door (or over the phone during their first week at college), try to teach them new chores as they become able to complete them.  Teach both boys and girls how to manage and maintain a household.  You don't want your child to be the one who doesn't wash his/her sheets for an entire semester at college because he/she doesn't know how to run a washing machine.

It's important to remember that kids won't be able to perform tasks up to your standards at first.  When they finish a new task and seem to be trying their best, encourage them: "You did a good job!"  And remind your child that the task will get easier with practice.

Be careful about how you reward your children for doing work, or chores, around your home.  Rather than encouraging your children to work only for the prize they will get at the end, teach them that work is a necessary and important part of life.  Since they are a part of your family, they need to do their part to make sure the household functions in a clean and somewhat orderly manner.  That, in itself, is a reward children should be taught to value. 

Read this brief article for some helpful guidelines for teaching kids to work: Household Chores Teach Kids Responsibility by Shannon Hutton

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