More effective national leadership and better weapons systems are less likely to assure the future of our nation than is the resurrection of chores. Chores are a voluntary cost-free resource for upgrading America.
Chores are one of the most important chapters in the encyclopedia of parenting. Vital training is absent when a child’s day doesn’t include some consistent responsibility to share a tiny portion of the community’s work load. Childhood is an extended period during which life skills, including morals, manners and social responsibility, are developed and instilled. Chores provide an education in self-maintenance.
Human history includes 200,000 years of chores. Our ancestors shared family responsibilities with children as soon as possible. Children are adults in training, and doing chores helps them learn to be better parents.
So why, in spite of the critical role chores played in human history, are they underappreciated today? Because managing chores is a chore. Today’s parents know less about managing chores, because few of them learned much about chore management from their parents. Our chore-management skills are being forgotten.
Chores are about respect, especially for the immediate neighborhood called family. Families are citizenship’s incubator; the groundwork of citizenship begins in the home. Too often schools are blamed for failing to instill good citizenship. While educators do share responsibility, the habits of good citizenship need to be established long before a child’s first school day.
Chores are not disappearing because parents are less committed to their parental responsibilities. Twenty-first-century humanity cares as much about children as people ever have. Rather, chores are disappearing because society is forgetting the essential benefits civilization derives from them.
From The Center for Effective Parenting: “Chores are beneficial for children – even very young ones. Being responsible for doing chores teaches children many important skills, such as cooperation and responsibility. Chores also teach children about fairness and commitment. The skills and values learned by doing chores will benefit children throughout their lives.”
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