You have to train them young if you want them to help you when they are older. And I am totally serious about this. Because I used to work part time while we were homeschooling, I had to have help from my daughters to keep the house up. I wasn't going to be gone nine hours and come home to a disaster, so the girls learned young that they had to help in the house. My mom would be here of course when they were young and she was instrumental in giving them regular chores that they still do to this day.
You cannot wait until they are older and then ask them to help you and expect them to not only know what to do but to have the discipline to do it without a hassle. I have friends whose kids do nothing around the house and they say I am lucky cause my girls help. Yes, I am lucky, but I put the time in when they were young teaching them how to clean and how to do it without complaining. Basically, if they complained then they got more chores until they stopped complaining. Sounds mean but you only have to do it once or twice and if they know you are serious, they will take you seriously. Don't give up because it is hard work to teach them to do it the right way but they will get it. My 17 year old has been largely in charge of our laundry for years. She does a wonderful job and when I chip in to help her fold she says she hates the way I do it. I mean she brings our laundry folded in perfect squares with tight corners. She is a bit OCD about orderliness so she is perfect for this job. I hire her to organize cupboards and drawers, she is so good at organizing.
Hard work when they are young will pay off immeasurably as they get older. My girls will move out and know how to cook and clean. Doesn't mean they will, but it won't be because they didn't learn here. My oldest is sort of a slob in her own space but she can cook, do windows and even fix a lawnmower. She is a stud. She works three jobs this summer saving for a car. Hard work never killed anyone and our kids are soft these days. They need a strong work ethic instilled in them if they are going to survive. I may sound like a slave driver, but I really am not. I have a full plate as well, especially with a husband that works out of town and long hours. I have to do what a lot of husbands would normally do at times and my girls, at least the younger ones, have more free time due to homeschooling. This is just a bit of motherly advice for those raising young ones right now and some encouragement to keep at it when training kids to help around the home. I don't have perfect kids and they sure don't have a perfect mom but don't hesitate to get them started young as it will pay off for you later and really for them too. They may never admit it but you will have taught them valuable life skills.
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