Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Chores.  Who likes them? I hated them as a kid, feel pretty much the same as an adult.  But, such is life. They need done. So we do them.  Pretty simple. 

My kids don't love them either. But they do them. Sometimes they moan and groan. Other times they just do them without complaint.  They just know they have to do them either way.

Reagan told me that BM said she shouldn't be doing any of the chores that she does when she's at our house.

Oh really?

For those of you who have non-blended families, just imagine what it's like to have everything you try to do and instill in your children, undermined at every turn.

My kids don't do chores because "I'm lazy."  My kids don't do chores because "I'm mean".  My kids don't do chores because "I don't want to do them myself."

My kids do chores because they are contributing members to our family.
My kids do chores because they are learning to take care of themselves.
My kids do chores because they are learning to be responsible human beings.

And all of those things are just fine by me.

So, all of this got me to thinking about the types of chores I did as a kid and the types of chores my kids do now.  I mean, come on, there's nothing wrong with giving Lily a mop since she's down on the floor anyway, right? I kid, I kid.

Nothing out of the ordinary to be considered cruel and unusual punishment.

Cleaning up dog poop, washing dishes, putting dishes away, carrying their laundry to the washing machine, pulling weeds in the yard, cleaning the bathroom, taking out the trash, holding the dustpan, putting the garbage cans out for trash pick up, walking the dog. Things like that. The horror!

Regardless of whether anyone agrees with it, it is what my husband and I have decided upon as parents in our home for our children.

However, the above lessons I wrote about have to be accompanied by lessons to Reagan of counterbalancing that just because BM doesn't agree/BM does things differently/BM specifically says to Reag that she shouldn't be doing any of the chores, doesn't mean we are doing something wrong or harmful.

So, we make them cook dinner, bathe the baby, change the oil in the car, trudge forward.

I was referred to an article that is pretty funny and oh so true about why kids should do chores.

#4 is titled, "Learn How to do Stuff Around the House, You'll Need It" 

It's pretty much on point even with expletives and all (it's written by a man) and worth the read. ;)
My favorite line, "And if I could go back in time, I'd grab my teenage self by the shoulders and say, 'Go learn how to do all of that shit Mom is doing. And I mean all of it.'"

What do your kids do?


  1. I've said it before and I will say it again - you guys are doing a wonderful job instilling values and responsibility into your children!

    My boys do chores, but don't know them by "chores" They think they are having fun cleaning up the dog poop and sweeping the floor (even vacuuming is fun to them!)

  2. My daughter is 14 and has been doing chores for several years. We sat down together and came up with a list of chores as well as a reasonable allowance. Her weekly chores include cleaning her room, cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming and moping, and cleaning up the dog poop in the front and back yards. At the beginning of each year, we go over the list together and see if any changes need to be made. We all get tired of the same old chorse, so it's nice to change it up a bit. :) Last year she folded laundry instead of doing the floors. I rarely get any complaining from her about the chores. :)