what a chore

We didn’t have specific chores growing up. We never had an allowance. I have no idea what it feels like to be a kid and know that you have to finish x,y, or z or else no gold star for you.  Some would argue that teaching responsibility through chores and charts and responsibilities is a must to raise conscientious adults with strong work ethics. Not necessarily. My parents were the example. They worked hard, and long, and taught us the value of doing your best at whatever you do. My brother and I have the same drive that my parents did and yet we never held a job while in school or had a list of formal “to-do’s” we had to meet. We were expected to pitch in, and we did. Period. I am so thankful that we didn’t have the added pressure of the chart looming on the fridge reminding us of what we did or didn’t do that day or week. It gives me anxiety just thinking about it.  Both my brother and I pursued careers-he is quite successful in his field, and I was in mine. As a former teacher, I worked full time and went to graduate school full time, simultaneously. Whenever I run into former employers, they each try to coax me back. I was a strong employee and to this day I can’t do anything half way. None of that can be attributed to doing laundry as a kid-because I never did laundry.  I’m not going to assume that I will never require my boys to do a certain task but I want to be very careful about teaching them the ethics of strong character and a solid work ethic without loading them down too soon with what will come soon enough in adulthood. They will learn how to work around the house, they will know how to put things away, they will learn skills to make them well-rounded men who like to pitch in, but for now, they are boys, young knights wielding plastic swords and gazing up at stars in the night sky instead of a chart.

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Amber Lia

A former high school English teacher, Amber is a work-at-home mom of 4 little boys under the age of 10. She is the best-selling author of Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses and Parenting Scripts: When What You’re Saying Isn’t Working, say Something New. She and her husband Guy own Storehouse Media Group, a faith-friendly and family-friendly TV and Film production company in Los Angeles, CA. When she’s not building sand castles with her boys on the beach, or searching for Nerf darts all over her house, you can find Amber writing to encourage families on her blog at Mother of Knights (www.motherofknights.com).