I have 4 boys. My husband’s job requires that he travel at times. During my last pregnancy, I was terrified of getting sick while he was away and not being able to run the household. I do a ton of cooking and the thought of having no strength to cook or have the kitchen turn into a disaster area was a frightening thought for me.
Well, I did get sick a couple times when he was gone but I didn’t have to worry.
My kids rose to the occasion beautifully and took over for me, doing chores and taking care of themselves while I gave instructions from the couch or even took a nap. They made themselves meals, washed pots and pans, vacuumed the floor, and made me coffee. It was so sweet and I was so grateful for their help.
There is no way my kids would have been able to jump in to provide extra help without a lot of training.
My husband and I have been teaching them for years to do these jobs and it’s really nothing new for them. This was just a bit more work than they normally do and they worked independently for the most part. Thank goodness they were well prepared to help out!
This is reason #1: In a crisis, you need the help.
You really need their help when things fall apart and you can’t lift your head off the couch. If you’re busy with a crisis or out of commission due to illness, they need to be able to make themselves something to eat (and clean up). They should be able to pick up their toys, perhaps do a load of laundry, feed the cat, and a thousand other things that you normally do without thinking. Sickness happens and sooner or later, it’s going to hit you. You’ve got to start training them now so that when it does happen, everyone is as well prepared as possible.
Reason #2: Besides emergencies like sickness and other crises, you need the help in your everyday life.
I could never accomplish everything I set out to do if I didn’t have help from my kids. There is just too much to do otherwise. Doesn’t it seem like kids generate work faster than humanly possible? The good news is that they can be a big help in tackling all that work.
Of course they won’t be able to do all these things at a young age.
Plus, you can’t expect them to learn it all at once. You won’t have them mowing the lawn at age 5 or doing laundry unsupervised until you are sure they understand the procedure. Learning these things takes lots of time and occurs gradually over the course of many years. Common sense must prevail here.
Thank goodness I don’t get sick very often.
However, when I do, I know that my kids are ready to pitch in and help around the house.
Why do you want your kids to help around the house? Tell me in the comments.
[This post is part of the How to Teach Your Kids to Do Chores series.]