Whether or not to involve children in housework has been a topic of continuous debates. Some parents believe that giving children chores is normal and even necessary to make them more responsible and organized (Yeo, 2016). Others disagree, noting that childhood should be a careless time when children are free from any boring duties and routine. Besides, making children do the housework is perceived by some as unethical and immoral and even compared to child labor. As far as I am concerned, there is nothing wrong in involving children in some simple work. My experience shows that it makes them value their parents’ hard work and teaches them collaboration and independence.
Many parents give chores to their children. Some involve children because they do not have time or motivation to complete them themselves. Others use housework as an essential part of the educational process. In the second case, children are positively affected by this cooperation. To begin with, they learn how many efforts are needed to keep the house clean and tidy. This, in turn, teaches them to respect their parents’ work and encourages them to be helpful and take initiative. Furthermore, when doing chores, children realize the consequences of their actions. For example, a child collecting his/her toys around the house will learn why leaving them on the floor is a bad idea. Similarly, a child regularly cleaning his own room will learn to be more tidy and responsible. On the contrary, when a child knows that parents will do all the work, he is not concerned about the dirty dishes, litter, clothes lying on the floor and chairs, etc.
I also think that children involved in some simple housework can enjoy it. Performing some chores may increase their self-esteem because children take pride in feeling independent and responsible. Parents managing to make housework engaging also notice that children perceive work as a funny game while for parents, it is another opportunity to spend time together. Finally, doing chores teaches collaboration and teamwork, which is useful for little helpers in the adult life (Yeo, 2016).
Some people argue that adults should not involve children in housework. It is mean to make children perform boring tasks when they should be playing and having fun. The main argument is that childhood is a careless time when children should not worry about cooking, cleaning, or doing laundry. Parents involving them in this work are perceived as monsters who exploit free child labor. Besides, many children do not like being given tasks because they have more entertaining things to do like playing outside or watching cartoons.
In my opinion, everything depends on the way parents involve their children. When I was a child, I had two friends whose mother used to give them chores. They were expected to cook the meals for themselves, clean the house, do the laundry, etc. Naturally, they were not happy about it and performed all these duties only because they did not want to be scolded. This is definitely a wrong approach to educating children. On the contrary, my mother sometimes asked me to perform some routine tasks like buying products or helping her clean the house. We did everything collaboratively, and she never asked me to do some hard work or help her when I did not feel like it. I think her approach helped me to become more responsible and independent while simultaneously did not deprive me of my precious childhood time.
To summarize, I would like to note that giving children chores is useful for their independence and development. It teaches them to be responsible and collaborative and makes them value their parents’ work more. However, everything depends on how exactly parents involve children. Unloading dull work onto children is indeed unethical and makes them hate their duties. Parents should take an active part in housework and try to make this experience entertaining and fun for children. Only in this case, children will develop a positive attitude and learn some valuable skills.
Yeo, J. (2016). Teach kids to be responsible by giving them chores at home. Retrieved from http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/education/teach-kids-to-be-responsible-by-giving-them-chores-at-home