I wish I had done more house chores when I was growing up. I envy the people who had strict parents who gave them strict duty roasters to adhere to. My kids will have chores assigned to them the moment they are able to walk and talk.
There are two things that household chores train a child to do, firstly, to fall onto a routine and secondly to take responsibility of the environment that they live in. Routine and structure are things I struggle with. Not just in life but in business as well.
My mom used to tell us this story of two boys who are sent to clear a dining room table after a meal. One of them gets cracking and starts moving things one by one whereas the other one gets a tray and ferries things in loads. It’s clear which one of the two is the strategic one. There’s so many hidden skills that one can obtain from doing house chores.
If I had done house chores, I think I’d be able to follow things through with more precision. You see, if you have to do a chore, it’s either done or it isn’t. It’s a very apparent difference. Completing house chores teaches you to see things through. I have a tendency to leave things half way. You can’t leave things incomplete if you were trained to never leave washing dishes half way.
Doing house chores can strengthen your self-discipline. You see, I start things and somewhere in the middle I get tired and throw in the towel. Whereas people who had to do chores will tell you that there was no room to be tired. You get home and the chores are waiting for you, making dinner, washing dishes and homework. Some of them even had to wash their uniform. I need this skill now more than ever, get home, do chores, work out and get some work done on my side gigs. It really feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day but if you were trained from childhood, you can take this in your stride.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
If you have siblings, doing house chores can teach you how to be a team player. Depending on how your chores are set up, you can have adjoined chores with your siblings and coordinating and working together can train you on how to work effectively as a team. I’m the first born, I did things by myself for a very long time. By the time my siblings were born I was set in my ways. You can see that now in the way that I work. I have trouble delegating and I end up biting off more than I can chew which leads to exhaustion and burn out.
I’m not saying overburden your kids with chores but I understand that it’s not just about child labour but training up a child with vital skills for them to function as adults.