Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Choosing Chores

We have been doing some chore shuffling around our house as the boys get older and become more capable.  With each birthday comes a new responsibility and my oldest is always thrilled about mastering something new.  My youngest is not quite as enthused.

"Drew!  What do you want your new chore to be since I am doing the dishes now?  Do you want to clear the table? Do you want to fold towels?  Do you want to just wipe off the counters so they don't have goo everywhere?" my oldest asked.  As he talked, his arms waved all around as if he was doing the chores.  His enthusiasm should have been contagious.

"I'm going to pick my own chore," my three year old replied lazily.  "I choose golfing."
I glanced up to see him leisurely practicing his swing as he talked.

"DREW!  You can't choose GOLFING!  Golfing isn't a chore!!!"

"Well, I want to golf so I'm just going to golf."

At this point, my oldest was nearly bursting with the absurdity of his brother's request.  "Mommy!  Drew said he wants to golf for his chore!"

"Drew, you'll have to pick something that helps the family, babe.  Any ideas?"

"Golfing helps my family.  Golfing make my family happy.  It make Daddy happy.  It make me happy. Right?"

Tough to argue his logic. Still, we had to move forward.  "It definitely makes everybody happy and that's important.  But we all have to do work.  How about I give you a list of options and you choose one of those?"

"Oh alright!" he said as he dropped his club on the floor.  "I will fold the towels!"  He marched into the living room and dropped to the floor with his arms crossed in a grand display of his disgust.

Each time I have asked my aspiring golf pro to help with folding the towels, we have to get through his bad attitude before he will comply.  But I refuse to give up.  Of course he would rather golf.  I would too! I would rather sew, read, walk outside, swim in the pool, go shopping, spend time with my husband, meet a friend for coffee...Just about anything other than folding the towels and doing the dishes and wiping pee off the toilet seat and floor every day (how does that happen every day anyway?).  And yet I do it to serve my family.   I do it with joy because I know that I am making their lives better by doing it.  Am I going to get my three year old to see things that way?  Probably not yet.  But maybe, just maybe, he will grow into those shoes and understand what it really means to serve.

How can you teach your kids to serve your family?  In what ways can you encourage them to have more responsibility?

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