Of course you aren’t. Because you understand that giving your child a set of chores to do each night gives them life-long skills that will enhance their lives, spare them from pink boxers, and even enrich their marriage.
Some kids are getting cheated… a lot of them. A study of 1,343 children by the Maryland Population Research Center at the University of Maryland, found a 12% decline in the time children spend on chores since 1997 and a 25% drop from 1981 levels, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Now the kids aren’t even learning how to properly sweep the floor, sort the garbage, or dry the dishes, and this lack of knowledge, the WSJ says, will have negative implications in society as this generation ages. A study of 506 U.S. couples published in 2006 in the American Journal of Sociology revealed that U.S. marriages tend to be more stable when men participate more in domestic tasks.
What are the kids doing instead? The WSJ cites more “worthy pursuits” such as reading, studying and youth groups. The article failed to mention, “time playing the Wii.”
Nor, did the article mention the truth. Kids aren’t doing as many chores today because Moms of this generation got smart. If you want something done right; do it yourself. This will save you time in the long haul. The bathroom really will be clean and fresh; and so will the floor, and back of the toilet and under the seat, if you do it. This is far too important a job to leave to the kids.
So, inspired by the research, and not wanting to be responsible for any future martial conflict in their lives, I dug around and found it in my heart to spare a chore for one of the kids. My five-year old packed our lunches for the car trip during our recent exodus from the lake. He carefully made us ham and cheese sandwiches, patiently asking each person what they would like: Pickles? Mustard? Jelly? Once he was done, he labeled each bag with our name and carefully put them on each of our respective seats in the van.
He also knocked over the carton of oatmeal, while I was moping the floor, so the oatmeal got wet, he stepped in it…. you get the picture.
Did I eat my sandwich? No. As soon as I heard his starving, famished teen-aged brother with the bottomless pit of a stomach start asking everyone, “Are you going to eat that?,” I passed mine on to him. I didn’t have the heart to eat it.