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The Importance of Chores

Here's the reality, and American society's dirty little secret-many kids don't learn how to wash their clothes, cook a meal, mow a lawn, make a bed, or even effectively wash a dish until they've moved out of the house. (In other words, you're not the only one with a demanding slug for a child!) Yet, most people agree that kids do benefit from having a role in the daily operations of the family.

Figuring out the right amount of responsibility is a balancing act. Kids work very hard. Between schoolwork, learning to deal with social situations, and, for many kids, their many extracurricular involvements, kids have very little “down” time. They need a chance to play, relax, daydream, nap. At the same time, teaching children life skills (and I'm talking kids of both sexes here, by the way) has a number of benefits:

It's a Good Idea!

Think about the benefits of family responsibilities as more than just learning survival skills. It's the participation that matters. Participating in family responsibilities helps a child develop essential social skills.

  • A person who enters college, or an independent living situation, with life skills will have a far easier time living with roommates.
  • Family responsibilities teach basic discipline.
  • The skills learned from having family responsibilities include time management, prioritizing tasks, and general organizational abilities.
  • With family participation, the parents don't have to slave their life away serving the royal offspring.
  • Most importantly, the child understands that he is part of a community (your family) and that as a member of the community, he needs to share responsibilities to keep the community going.


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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to a Well-Behaved Child © 1999 by Ericka Lutz. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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