Listen here. There are days where I will do the chores that I’ve delegated to the older two kids. Usually days where they’ve got alot of homework or some other pressing thing to do. I’ll give them a break on holidays and birthdays. Even some weekends I’ll cut them some slack and do the chores. But when they do something they know I don’t like, then they gotta pay the price for it. Or even better; when they don’t do something I’ve told them to do.

Now, I understand that kids will forget to do something, and I get it, but the understanding is in the lesson, and I always make certain that they will learn it. Seems to me, kids think chores are just something they have to do. But actually, it’s so much more than that. Cleaning, if you ask me, is about attention to detail. It’s about time management. It’s about taking care of things. It’s about organization. It’s about inventory and being prepared to take on a necessary task. It’s also presentation, and as I constantly explain to my older two, chores are practical functions in and outside the home.

If I don’t teach them, who will.? My kids like to cut corners, and then quickly try to get out of dodge before I take notice. All that does is waste more of their time because I’ll just call them back to wherever they just left, and instead of telling them what they forgot to do, I’ll just say something like, “You know you aren’t done, right?”

They’ll look at me like I’m shit on a hot sidewalk, and I’ll look at them like, “We can do this all weekend.”

They’ll act like they can’t see bread crumbs on the floor, or that the damn trash needs to go out, or even better, the damn counters haven’t been wiped down. And that’s just in the kitchen…

So, even though it might be something small that they didn’t do, or forgot to do, hopefully they’ll figure it all out, and see that it’s not just about the effort of cleaning in and of itself; but all about them and a developing a work ethic.

As for Zoie, the four year old. She has chores, too. “Pick up all these crayons, paper, beads. Oh and that empty bag of crackers. She gets in on the cleaning action, too.

I’m far from a drill instructor, but I do expect some cleanliness. Once they’ve handled their business, then the rest of the day is all theirs.

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