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We can’t always get it right, but we should try.

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I knew from the start that having children was not going to be easy.  I knew that I would mess them up somehow.  I knew that I was not perfect and that I was going to make mistakes.  We should all know this when we consider becoming parents.

What made me think about this recently was an article about creating a positive work ethic in children.  The article discussed the importance of starting at a young age, giving children age appropriate chores around the house.  The benefits, in short, were listed out as children getting used to a more positive and interactive routine, not being as “fussy” when things don’t go their way, learning to work hard at whatever they do.

I began to consider the chores that I routinely give my own children…  This is even shorter.  I don’t.  I fall short when it comes to anything ROUTINE at my house because…  well….  I am not used to it…  I want to say that mine and my wife’s jobs have us getting home late, and with homework, dinner, etc.  that we don’t have time.  I hate excuses.  especially my own…

So, the question arises, what to do about this new found sense of “failure” (lack of a better word)?

When I first read the article, I began thinking about how we typically just go on autopilot during the week and don’t intentionally focus on anything other than necessities.  That is the keyword “intentionally”.  No child can be expected to do anything intentionally that he/she was not taught or shown intentionally.
I have seen parents act powerless when their children did not complete chores, when the children had been raised with the unintentional option to not complete the chores.
(while this is a different issue, I will come back to this at the end!)
Children need to be raised with the knowledge that chores are a part of life and are a necessity to maintaining a household and growing into a mature adult.  If your children do not have chores in their life, they may be learning that they get to decide what and when they get to do things, and that they don’t have to focus on remembering anything.  Yes, this may help with remembering homework also.
Keep in mind:  This is not a conversation you can have and your children learn work ethic.  Work ethic has to be learned by doing.
If you are one of those parents struggling with getting your children to complete chores, give us a call.  We can help.
If you are one of the parents, like me, that realized that your children need regular chores in the first place, we can help with that also.

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Toby Riley

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