Anyone who sees that title will probably automatically be thinking something along the lines of What? Kids need to be allowed to be kids!”, and they’d be right.
I heard a quote recently, and I have no idea who first said it, but it was something like “The biggest problem in America is that parents are raising kids when they should be raising adults!” And I got a fair bit of negative comments about that when I posted it to me Facebook status (mostly from non-Christians, interestingly enough.)
I’m not saying that we need to treat kids as mini-adults; kids just aren’t. They need to be allowed to play and discover and in general, be kids. But I think what the writer of that quote is saying is that in general, people are SO focused on letting kids be kids that they leave preparing them to be adults until it’s too late. Even myself, I never really had chores growing up, never really had responsibility around the house. My husband lived with his mom until we got married and also never was prepared to take care of himself and a family. Usually the parents’ intentions are purely out of love; they want their kids to have an easy childhood.
However, we live in a fallen world that is anything but easy. Most teens have probably never done a load of laundry, or cooked a meal for the family. They probably haven’t been taught to budget their money, or to prioritize their activities. Some might have never even washed dishes by hand before. How can we expect our children to thrive in this world as adults if we don’t prepare them?
I get funny looks when I tell people that I’m starting to get my son (he’s 2.5) to help with chores. But he can bring cutlery to the table, and can help carry laundry to his room, a few pieces at a time (it usually doesn’t stay folded but he tries!) He loves to wipe the coffee table down for me, and he’s getting better at picking up his toys. These are all chores, and though they’re simple, they are teaching him responsibility.
Not as an attack, but for a reference for readers who might be wondering what chores might be age-appropriate for their children, what chores do your kids do at what ages?