When families reach a point of breakdown/crisis/conflict that cannot be resolved, they often end up in therapy for help in getting back on track. Or, some kind of track! One thing I find important to explore is the responsibilities, or chores, at home. Do the kids/teens have chores? If not, why not? This is not insignificant.
Many parents find many household duties easiest and quickest to do themselves. While this might be true in the moment, it is vital to train children to learn these things. After all, do you want your teen to get to college and realize he doesn’t know how to work a washing machine? Clean a bathroom? Iron shirts? Make an appointment over the phone?
But even more than preparing for the future, having children do chores at home is important for their self-esteem. By accomplishing tasks at home they learn that not only are they capable, but that you (big, wiser, other parent!) have faith in them that they can handle it. This builds family unity, trust, and frees up more time for play for everyone.
Not sure where to start? Use this article as a guide, as it provides age-appropriate chores. If your children have never done any chores at home, it will be normal to have some resistance (read: whining, crying, complaining, arguing). Understand this as par for the course, and remember that chores will be helpful for everyone long-term.