by Ashley Corbaley
“We often miss opportunity because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work.” -Thomas A. Edison
Growing up, Saturday morning was clean the house day. Other days in the week my brother and I took turns doing certain tasks such as taking out the garbage, doing the dishes, sweeping and vacuuming. When I was younger I had a chore chart and as I got older I was expected to pull my weight as far as household chores were concerned.
Did I hate doing chores while I was growing up? Absolutely. Do I still not love to participate in the dull, tedious, and never-ending heap of household responsibilities I now have in the house of my own? Of course. Am I glad that my parents taught me how to work while I was young? You bet I do.
- 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, a child learns 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.
In addition to all of these proven benefits of family work, that work also promotes family unity. While working together to improve the structure and appearance of the house you all share, families are spending time together to work towards a common goal. Working together as a family can be a time to talk and listen to one another. It can be a time to laugh and be silly.
The mindless everyday tasks that come with managing a house and raising a family are meant to remind us of what should be the main focus of our lives: our families. The work we do guides our thoughts towards the ones we love most. When we strive to see the tasks we do in this way, they are seem less like chores when we next mop mud off the floor or fold loads of laundry. They are grateful reminders of our family.
Will family work time always be cooperative and happy? Most likely no. In all honesty, there will probably be more bad days than good days. It does not mean you failed as a parent if bickering and complaining are the only things that your children seem to do while working together. The important thing is that they are learning how to work and they are building relationships with family members.
They may not appreciate it now, but one day they will be thankful that they learned how to work together. They will look back on the times they spent with you and their siblings doing chores and smile. Childhood arguments while doing the dishes will become something to laugh about. Moments of talking, listening and laughter will be forever treasured in their hearts.