Way back in the day, before I entered dinosaur-dom, I remember hearing peers and certain family members make mention of the fact that they didn’t have to clean their room (or anything else in the house for that matter) because their mother did it for them.
Keep in mind that the general tenor for families back then was that both parents worked. That’s right: not only did mom have to have a part time job, but she was still in charge of making sure that the homestead didn’t go to pot.
I knew then, as I know now, that that is an incredible load of bullshit. No kid, anywhere on the face of the earth, should be exempt from cleaning up after themselves and pulling their own weight around the house. The only thing that a parent accomplishes when they absolve their child from cleaning or any other household duty/responsibility is the creation of an entitled shit who expects things to be handed to them and will most likely live a large portion of their life in this state.
I’m not advocating whip-cracking. I’m not saying that your children’s lives should play out like the first act of Cinderella. Or that your children should identify with the drama Roots.
What I’m getting at is that you, as a parent, are solely responsible for making sure that your child is armed with the knowledge that they can, and should help out around the house.
Want to make it easy on yourself? Start them off young.
For my kids it started off with simple things: putting away toys and picking up around the house. Eventually they graduated to dusting and wiping stuff down. Vacuuming eventually came to all of them despite the fact that we lost a lamp or two during the learning process.
By the time that they were 8, they were doing their own laundry. Yes, 8. They loved it.
This might make you pucker at the thought of having Little Johnny or Susie Shitpants do their own laundry. It shouldn’t: If you are with them every step of the way and you are teaching them correctly, your child ought to be able to do their own laundry. Look at it this way: if they’re doing it right, it’s one less thing you have to worry about.
For the record, I started them on their laundry when they were 8 because they were at a decent height in order to get clothes from the bottom of washer and into the dryer.
Since my family and I have relocated to Florida, I have taken to using a chore board. It doesn’t waste paper and it establishes culpability (e.g. they can’t “loose” something stuck to the fucking wall).
It’s nothing fancy. Just a cheap picture frame I picked up from the local department store. Also for the record, I typically stick with one chore. As barometers I use the collective behavior of the group and what may be going on during the week. Summer time is a little different since they have “so much time” on their hands.
In sum, keep in mind that raising a child is a process. When it comes to showing them a new skill or teaching them the proper way to clean ‘a thing’, it will take some time for them to get it as right as you want them to get it. They are also going to cut corners. Kids are sneaky as fuck.
Also please do the world a favor: make sure you are creating an individual who will contribute to society, not drag it back to the stoneage.