Put Kids to Work Again

Who said this?

“The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.” ……Socrates in 400 bc

What!?!  I know right! Can you believe it? Isn’t it somehow comforting to know adults have been saying that about youths for 1000’s of years.

I recently saw on TV, Republican Senator Ben Sasse hawking his new book “The Vanishing American Adult.” Being a small business owner who hires and trains young adults, I stopped to listen. He said, “At our house we have come to conclude that building and strengthening character will require extreme measures and the intentional pursuit of gritty work experiences.” Sasse writes and presents his book as a guide for parents determined not to raise the kind of soft, entitled kids he encountered when he was president of Midland University.

I had mixed emotions watching his interview. I agree with his comments that parents need to teach their kids chores and responsibility. But, being a working mother myself, I sympathize with parents who take the easy way out by letting their kids watch TV, eat on the couch and play video games late into the night. At the end of the day or work week, it is easier to just do the chore yourself, than to involve them.

Personally, I love the millennials that I’m currently hiring. If you’re still hip enough to overlook their tongue piercings, nose rings and tatoos, then you will find a gem of an employee.

As a working mother of 4, I learned a few tricks. You can’t verbally tell your kids to make their bed, and empty the dishwasher and expect them to do it while you are gone. Their memories are crap. But, what you can do, is something we all love. Make them a list. Keep the chores super simple and attainable. Just like us, they love the sense of accomplishment. Remember the goal is to teach responsibility that will last a life time.

And lastly, make it a house rule that everyone is up by 9 am. This lifestyle will carry into adulthood.

Attached is my young children’s chore list. As they got older, I added carry out the trash and mow the lawn.

Good luck on forming our future citizens.

Print it out: Chore list in Excel where you can add your own fields

Printable PDF Chore-list where you can just write in your own chores to go with those already on the chart.