Bradley Jay: ‘Should Kids Be Expected To Do Household Chores?’
If you are over forty, it is likely you were expected to “heave to” and pitch in with family household tasks. You were an integral part of the team. They needed you.
If you are a kid today, it is more likely that you are involved in organized sports instead, and while the latter has its value, kids need to have defined responsibilities around the home. The self-esteem fostered by daily family chores is a fortifying psychic vitamin against childhood angst. The lack of an opportunity to contribute to the family may lead to an abstract feeling of worthlessness, much like malaise related to unemployment.
A family is strengthened when its members labor toward a common goal. It is qualitatively the same phenomenon that binds and motivates soldiers fighting a common enemy. While it is nice to bond with your soccer team mates, welding the connections between family members with shared labor is equally important.
Chores ingrain a work ethic and an intrinsic sense that work is the natural thing to do. Children who work around the house are less likely to develop a sense of entitlement, whereas kids who are catered to are more likely to expect that society should continue to pamper them after they have flown the nest. The challenge today is to buck American society’s penchant for spoiling kids.
I admit I hated weeding the garden, painting the garage, mowing the lawn, and other sweaty, buggy household tasks, but I also admit that I am probably a better, happier, and more independent person because of those tasks.
Did you do household chores when you were a kid? What were they? If you are a parent, do expect your kids to do them? Watch the Jay Talking video to see if your position on this is in line with your peers.