Growing up I did a lot of things around the house, but I don't really think I ever had a formal list of things I had to do. If something needed to be done my parents would ask my brother or I to complete it, and me being older, those duties usually fell on me.
I kept my room clean, had to mow the lawn once a week, rake leaves, shovel snow, vacuum periodically, set the table, cleaned up after myself. I folded laundry from a young age and once I got into high school I did my own laundry 90% of the time.
From 8th grade onward, I was responsible for cooking dinner a 2-3 nights a week since both my parents worked full time.
There were some things I didn't have to do often because they were done by my parents or assigned to my brother. For instance, my father always took the trash cans out to the curb since he woke up the earliest and my brother or I would take them in from the curb when we got back from school.
[quote="whatevergirl, post:4, topic:190221"]
*Just a question too for the group, since you started this thread Jay--I guess I don't understand how doing tons of chores around the house, helps a kid later on? I get the work ethic thing, I do. I believe kids should take care of their rooms, bathrooms...basically clean up after themselves. But, I have a hard time with the concept of getting them to mop floors, and clean windows...and clean out the family car, etc.
Second, I don't think the sum total of how well you handle life boils down to how well you can clean a house. I clean, I like a clean house. But, I don't think that kids need to be bogged down with a bazillion chores...to learn how to have a good work ethic. Use your minds, get good grades, get into college, get a good job...and most importantly love God, and put Him first. My husband thinks it is very necessary for kids to learn how to take care of household chores...I dunno. Just wanted to throw that out there, and see if I'm alone in my thinking or not. My husband and I have a great marriage, very loving...but when it comes to this? That's where our arguments come in. It's kind of an old scene. :( *
I don't think excessive chores are truly beneficial. I don't think kids are meant to be 'laborers' but I do think all children should have some responsibilities and be required to do things on their own so they become independent and don't get a sense of entitlement where they expect their parents to do everything for them.
I think that an up bringing and responsibilities around the house factor into how good of a roommate one is when they go off to college. I had a couple roommates in my apartment during college that had no idea how to do very basic cooking. Fortunately they all pitched in equally for other things that needed to be done (like cleaning). However, I would see other groups of friends complaining to one another because one person would just leave plates on the table or pots in the sink after using them because they didn't care much or would 'get around to cleaning it eventually'. They knew that if they left it long enough one of the roommates would get fed up with the situation and clean it for them rather than confront the true issue (just like their parents would do for them growing up). The same goes with leaving clothes on the floor, etc.
All in all, kids will be fine whether they do chores or not. I think it just helps to have some 'life skills' reinforced through chores (or other means if not by chores) while living at home. To make kids dust a windowsill over and over may not provide much value. However, making sure they know to always clean up after themselves, don't make a mess deliberately or through negligence and how it affects others I think are important life lessons that will help improve friendships later on and better prepare them for sharing responsibilities with a spouse.