Titus 2 Thursday: Teaching responsibility and character development through chores

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.

The Bible says that Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of discipline will remove it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15). If responsibility isn’t expected and taught in early childhood, laziness and a lack of responsibility will be the result.
Children
Requiring your children to do chores is something that is becoming rare these days. However, we Titus 2 moms want to prepare our children for LIFE! The longer we wait to teach them how to handle responsibility and develop great character traits, the more hectic our lives are and the more handicapped our children become.

 

A good rule of thumb, when divvying out chores, is to remember this: Do not do for your children what they can do for themselves! Does that mean that you sit and watch as your child struggles to do something? Maybe. If they are sick and COULD get up and feed the dog, but you excuse them from the chore so that they can rest, that would be very motherly, and would not be going against the maxim. In fact, you’d be exhibiting the character trait of compassion. However, do you give in when they purposefully do a poor job in order to get out of it? No. Make them follow through! Then, you’re teaching them the character trait of fortitude! In other words, use discretion, but remember that saying and it will help to develop strong leaders in your home.

 

Chore Ideas for Children Ages (5-6)
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.

 

Chore Ideas for Children Ages (6-7)
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.
Chore Ideas for Children Ages (8-10)
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.
Chore Ideas for Children Ages (11-12 years)
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.

 

Teens
I believe that one reason that the modern development of adolescence is so prevalent is that parents are encouraging easy and carefree lives for their children. Yes, that’s an entirely different post that I will save for another day. However, that doesn’t change the fact that there is nothing in the Bible that commends children being without responsibility. This is a recent trend. Adolescence, and the attitude which accompanies that terminology, are all quite new and modern and does not exist in MANY areas of the world. If you look at most children who are appreciated enough in their homes to have responsibilities and have learned to pitch in and help their family, they are well-rounded young adults, ready to be leaders at fairly young ages.
Chore Ideas for Teens
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.

 

Handing Down Chores
Our kids have chores as soon as they can crawl and they will pass them on to a younger sibling when the older one is ready to “graduate” to bigger and better chores and the younger sibling is ready to take on a new chore. The younger sibling will become the “apprentice” and the older becomes the “master or teacher.” The younger will watch the older do the chore between 2 and 5 times before they attempt it themselves. Then they move onto doing the chore themselves, with the older one watching and instructing PROPERLY (no bossing allowed…Mommy’s listening in). After about 2-5 times of the younger doing the chore under the older one’s supervision and instruction, the younger will do that chore on their own. From that point on, Mommy checks up on them randomly to see if it was completed properly. If it was not, then Mommy instructs the younger on how to correct it. Of course, age is always factored in…..I don’t expect my five year old to wipe the table the way I would. BUT, they should be doing it to the best of their ability.

 

Remember
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 14:23
Whatever 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

Now is the time for action in training these young leaders of tomorrow!

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.

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5 thoughts on “Titus 2 Thursday: Teaching responsibility and character development through chores

  1. This really called me to task for the way I’ve been slacking with our two girls… I need to get them on track with chores, and I’m afraid it’s already too late (they’re 8 and 10)! I always feel like I’m carrying a huge load of laundry around and nothing is ever getting accomplished. It’s really disheartening. Thanks for posting this – we’ll try a chore chart with some of these suggestions and see if it works.

  2. I am always so blessed by what I find here! Keep up the good work, Meg… I love stopping by to see what you’ve been up to! 🙂

  3. I know one of my biggest regrets was not training my kids while they were younger… I wish I’d had something like this to base off of, but now it’s all crazy, and I doubt I’d ever get anything going. 😦

  4. I am so thankful I stumbled across this post! We have been struggling for months now to get a chore system in place for our two girls, and I continued to be at a loss as to what they SHOULD be able to do, and what I needed to help them with. This was a great post! Thanks for linking to it!

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