Babysitters In a Pinch

When, Why, Where, What...

Posted by Jaidene Anderlini on Mar 20, 2018 3:25:31 PM


Chores. You hate assigning them, you hate following up that they are done, you hate the crying, pouting, and temper tantrums that accompany them, and let's not think about how much time it takes to get them done when you could do it in far less time.

As you scrunch up your face, have an internal nervous breakdown; try to remember that this is as important to a child's development and success as school, playing, athletics, learning how to socialize with others, etc. If chores are not added to a child's life then their future success, drive, and work ethic are in question. You can't expect a child to all of a sudden be able to function as an adult with no tools for what it takes to be an adult, or an independent college student.

Simple tasks should begin at a very young age from the time kids begin walking. Children should be able to put their own toys away after each activity that involves toys, paper, scissors, etc. by 2 years old. No question they should be able, and should be expected to, do simple chores. I know we all want our children to have delightful childhoods, and we think that they shouldn't be required to clean up their rooms, and put their stuff away because it will mar their memories of their childhood. But I have to let you know that children will be happier adults if they know how to do chores now, and chores get really easy when children are taught to do them young because expectations are set up for them. I babysit kids that keep their rooms clean and have since they were 3. It's true. They also do it without arguing, crying or pouting because their parents have let them know what they are expected to do. Chores now are super easy for this family. Oh yes, you'll get complaining but it isn't like it would be if they hadn't started early. I know, because I babysit for a lot of families where kids aren't expected to clean up after themselves and the house is a disaster, parents are frazzled, and the full responsibility for children's rooms, laundry, finding stuff, organizing etc fall fully on the shoulders of the parents. At the age of 10+ kids aren't expected to do anything at all to maintain the household. This is not fair to the child or the parent.

I've met 40 year old men that didn't know how to make a bed, make a simple cup of coffee with a non-fancy coffee maker, load a dishwasher, or clean a toilet. Now, why do you think that is? Yup, he wasn't taught as a child to do these simpler tasks so now as an adult his roommates, girl friends, or wife are left with the task of teaching him which is ridiculous.

As an employer it is amazing that some of the people I've hired through the years do not know how to problem solve, think on their own, and be able to do simple tasks they are required to do as a babysitter. Why? You know it; they weren't taught about responsibility in regards to chores and the natural consequences that go with those responsibilities. A boss isn't going to give you or any working adult a task (chore) and let it slide when it doesn't get done, or do it themselves when it doesn't get done. What happens; someone gets fired (it won't be the boss).

Here's another thing to think about doing chores together as a family is an opportunity to bond as a family. When I was little some of my most fond memories were doing chores with my siblings, and even helping my mom can vegetables in Fall. We'd share stories about about stuff that happened during the day and laugh. We'd play practical jokes on each other and our parents. My mom would share stories about her life with our grandma and grandpa there were fun to hear. Doing chores together as a family was such a nice time of bonding.

If you want your children to be successful adults you need to begin when they are your children not just by teaching them formal book education, but by giving them responsibilities (chores), working side by side, sharing memories, love and time. Chores can be a wonderful opportunity to bond as a family.