The Chore List: Teaching My Daughters To Pitch In
by Lizzy Smith
October 31, 2014
Last week, my daughter called me in a panic. She had a soccer game and her uniform was dirty.
"Put it in the washer," I said.
"I don't know how!" she was nearly in tears.
Lovely, at age 14, she literally didn't know how to use the washer or dryer.
My fabulous daughters, God bless 'em, have almost no concept on what it means to run a home. They believe that clean clothes magically appear in their closet and drawers, food simply grows in the refrigerator, and that angels come in the middle of the night to clean the house. And, quite frankly, I am sick of it. But, really, whose fault is that? Mine. I haven't taught them, nor have I expected them to do anything. And certainly, there were no consequences if they didn't do a thing. So I went on an official quest to teach them some valuable lessons about chores and pitching in.
The reality is that giving my daughters chores is far more work that it was worth. When I asked them to do anything, they complained and argued and made a mess that I had to clean up anyway. My younger daughter actually loves to help but she is super klutzy, so I have been afraid to let her do much of anything. It was time that I got over it and simply allowed mistakes to happen. After all, they'll get better and more proficient at their chores if I simply back off and allow them to do it and hold them accountable. And some day, it will save me loads of time if I get help around the house. After all, doing it all myself is exhausting (not to mention, thankless).
So I made a handy list of things they can (and should) do around the house and divided it up between the two of them. I put their assignments on the refrigerator door and if they don't have a good week of doing their chores, they don't get their allowance.