Here are the posts, in order, as well as some quotes from email responses.
A Homeschool Story said...
Thank you for posting. I am glad to hear that chores getting done did not damage your relationship with your parents. I did have an email from someone who mentioned great resentment of their parents all through childhood because of work they were expected to contribute to the household.
I like your natural distribution of tasks in a household; Dad working for food, everyone helping to make it all happen. It sounds so logical and irrefutable, as though it would make sense, even to a child.
They can't play outside or do anything fun till homework and chores are done.
From one no-nonsense woman, who accomplishes great things and has from a very young age, thank you!
I only had two children but was aYou know... I do believe that we have to preserve the relationship and I think my take on it is a bit different - feel free to quote me here.
single parent who was exhausted every day from working to provide a
living and maintaining every aspect of the lives of three people. If my
kids didn't see chores as part of the requirements of everyday living in
our little house, I would be dead! I could not have provided the
"extras" for them, ones they wanted, such as camping trips, local
outings, discussion times, reading books together, putting on family
plays, making a garden, cooking together. I would have been doing all
the chores while they....what? Didn't learn the joy of accomplishing
something. Children can be taught that chores maintain an environment so
that environment can maintain them and pleasures in life.
We used Family Meetings once a week and amazing things happened. (My 10
year old son took over doing the family laundry for the summer and did it
Thank you, also, for the reminder of all the time the children are saving you by helping out, thus improving their own quality of life.
From Melisa Nielson, website; www.alittlegardenflower.com, Waldorf homeschooing consultant:
When it comes to a small child, they are learning through imitation, we clean, they clean. When they hit about 9yrs, some children really start resisting. They need a little direction in my opinion - especially with a larger family - say three or more children. I have the chore chart - it is down to the 9s! We had fighting over prayers even so we cut that out by giving each child a day where they are responsible for all the meal prayers. Mom and Dad need to be models too so we are included on the chore chart. The fighting about chores is down to almost none - I don't yell about the chores, I give a reminder in the morning - then the chores are done before play time... period. I wouldn't spend a ton of time fighting about it. I think so many times we worry about hurting feelings or damaging them for life - the real damage comes when we release children on the world that don't know how to do dishes or fold laundry. You don't have to fight about the chores - just remind them firmly - I rarely fight since the chart is done. A simple question is given at breakfast "who has KP today?" The children with KP speak up and I give them any extra thoughts I have about the kitchen, after breakfast it is done. The child on laundry starts the dryer and the timer - when it goes off he/she folds and lets me know they've moved the laundry so I can put in another load. If I am asked "can I go play?" or if a friend shows up at the door - I ask "are your chores caught up?" If the answer is no then they can either let their friend help or they can be quick to do their chores and then go play.
I don't think chores have to be a huge pain - or a life changing fight. Mom has a choice. I totally agree with saving the relationship - but you don't have to lose your house in the process! Both can be accomplished. I say if you are fighting about it then there may be something else at play - are you up on your inner work? it takes two to fight, lol... if one side doesn't then there is no fight.
Thank you, Melisa, words of wisdom from a smart mother of four.
There is a great quantity of responses from a relaxed homeschooling list that I am part of, thank you all. I am going to request your permission before posting your comments, they will be included soon, I hope! The list: IDEA_2@yahoogroups.com