This morning’s post was written by Lisa Metzger. She is the devoted helpmeet to Mark, keeper of her home and a 2nd generation homeschool mommy to 8 blessings so far (5 biological and, 3 adopted). Stop by and visit her at A Second Generation of Homeschooling or come visit their family blog, God’s Plan for Families!
A lot of people look, especially at larger families, and wonder why they have their older children help out so much with chores and responsibilities. A lot of times we may hear the phrase, “Just let kids be kids.” Some might think that the older children in a large family are taking on parental roles, rather than enjoying their childhood. While I think that kids can be taken advantage of in this way, overall I think that this is a very dangerous mindset that many parents have adopted.
Unsupervised responsibilities (making bed, washing out trash cans, etc.). Help with more complicated meal preparations (making frozen juice, toast, helping with baking). Make own sandwich or simple breakfast and clean up. Pour own drink. Prepare the dinner table. Tear up lettuce for the salad. Help with younger siblings (entertaining while mom is out of the room, feeding/dressing toddler siblings). Laundry (sorting, learning to use the washer/dryer, measuring detergent, fold clean clothes and put them away). Cleaning (using cleaning supplies properly, cleaning unsupervised areas like bathtub or polishing furniture, clean mirrors and windows). Sons — carrying “heavy” things for mom and helping with yard work. By this time a child will begin to carry out responsibilities unasked and begin to offer help in areas parents don’t require help in. Make bed and clean room. Learn to tie shoes. Answer the telephone and begin to dial the phone. Help with yard work. Pay for small purchases. Help clean out the car. Take out the garbage. Feed pets and clean the living area.
Regular quiet time becomes a part of daily routine. Totally unsupervised laundry responsibilities when needed. Learning the purpose and beginning usage of tools (lawn mower, hand tools, etc.) and helping with home maintenance. Shake rugs. Water plants and flowers. Prepare own lunch. Hang up own clothes in the closet. Rake leaves and weed. Tie own shoes. Care for his own minor injuries. Keep the garbage container clean. Clean out inside of car. Straighten or clean out silverware drawer. Oil and care for bike. Take phone messages. Sweep and wash patio area. Water the lawn. Wash dog or cat. Train pets. Take pet for walk. Carry in the groceries. Get self up in the morning and go to bed at night on own. Learn to be polite, courteous, and to share; respect others. Leave the bathroom in order. Do simple ironing with help.
Complete responsibility for their rooms on a daily basis (bed making, dresser drawers, closet, vacuuming, etc.). Unsupervised yard work (i.e., lawn mowing, edging, clean-up, gardening). More complex meal preparations (pour and make tea, coffee, and instant drinks, using sharp instruments, baking, using appliances, beginning meal planning). More difficult cleaning projects (scrubbing kitchen floor, windows, cleaning appliances). Financial planning (computing percentages for saving, tithing, offerings, gift-giving and assuming responsibility with parental oversight). Begin car maintenance (helping dad with minor repairs, learning tool usage, washing/waxing). Help rearrange furniture. Help plan the layout. Run own bathwater. Shop for and select own clothing and shoes with parent. Fold blankets. Sew buttons and sew rips in seams. Cut flowers and make a centerpiece. Help with defrosting and cleaning the refrigerator. Feed the baby. Clean patio furniture. Change sheets and put dirty sheets in hamper. Buy groceries using a list and comparative shopping. Receive and answer own mail. Wait on guests. Pack own suitcase. Responsible for personal hobby. Handle self properly when in public places alone or with peers.
Join outside organizations, do assignments, and attend. Able to take responsibility as a leader. Put siblings to bed and dress them. Clean pool and pool area. Respect others’ property. Mow lawn with supervision. Help Father build things and do family errands. Schedule himself time for studies. Buy own sweets or treats. Check and add oil to car under supervision.
Along with those listed under the children’s section….Determine how late he should stay up during the week. Also determine how late he should be out for evening gatherings (through mutual parent-child discussion and agreement). Responsible for preparing family meals on occasion. Social awareness: good health, exercise, necessary rest, correct weight, nutritious food, physical examinations. Anticipate the needs of others and initiate the appropriate action. Acceptance of capabilities and limitations. Self-respect or individual worth. Responsibility for one’s decision. Mutual respect, loyalty, and honesty in the family.
Unfortunately, today’s society has taught us that life should be easy, kids should be kids, take the easy way out in life, but in all reality I cannot find where it says any of that in Scripture. In fact, Scripture says that LEADERS and SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE will work hard! Using the below Scriptures when teaching children about chores and hard work will mold their spirits now and train them for their futures! This is why we believe that children should regularly contribute to household maintenance and learn how to take care of younger children and babies. They should not be disciplining or parenting – that is the parents’ God-given responsibility – but they should be contributing and learning life skills What Christian mother doesn’t want to prepare our children for life and teach them to be godly leaders?
Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and never succeed. Proverbs 12:24
He who works his land will have abundant food, but he who chases fantasies lacks judgment. Proverbs 12:11
All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. Proverbs 14:23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:22-24
Join me on Thursdays when I share one of the At The Well – Pursuing Titus 2 devotionals that has made an impact on my daily walk with the Lord as a mother and wife.