I give my kids chores to do, am I a slavedriver?

@snoopy04 (718)
United States
July 11, 2007 11:23am CST
When I was growing up my brother and I have chores, now that I have kids each child has chores of their own. I believe that it teaches them responsbility and maturity as well. I want my kids to realize that no one is going to hand them anything on a silver platter and that the world doesnt revolve around them. If you want something you have to acheive it yourself no one is going to give it to you. I was at my mother-inlaws and I got into a heated debate with another lady over kids and chores. She has three kids and they all act like spoiled brats. She did everything for from getting their lunch to bringing them drinks and so on. Now mind youy these kids are 8, 10, 13. They treated her like their own personael butler and she gave in to their every whim. Imade my kids clean up their mess , pick out their own foods and throw away their plates. Just as I was leaving she had the nerve to tell me I was a total slavedriver to my kids because I made them do these simple chores. She siad I should be ashamed of myself that I was making my kids pick up the mess they made at their grandparents. Her view was kids should be kids and parents should do everything for them because once they turn 18 then they will have enough responsibilty and will have to leave home and make a place for themselves. Well kids are 9,4,3,2 and yes I do give them chores like keeping their room clean, putting away dirty laundry, throwing away their trash, putting their dishes in the sink. When they do their chores they each get a dollar( even my two year old can put her toys away and put her dirty clothes away). So am I really a slavedriver? I am just trying to raise mature responsible adults, what do you think?
10 people like this
43 responses
@Feona1962 (7527)
• United States
11 Jul 07
You are not a slavedriver..You are raising your children to be responsible..As a family everyone works together and the children need to participate..They will thank you when they get older..You are a very good parent and do not let anyone tell you different...Those people that wait on their kids will soon regret it..The others already are brats and that is what will happen...You can't wait until they are 18 because then it is too late..Thank you for being a great parent....
@jodenton (222)
12 Jul 07
I totally agree. If the children feel like they are doing their bit for the family then they will feel much more a part of it.
@ravinskye (8242)
• United States
11 Jul 07
I don't think you are a slave driver at all! my girls are 4 and 2 and I do the same thing with them. My 4 year old will even feed and water the dogs and the cats in the morning. I have them clean up their toys, especially when we are at someone else's house. They clean up their plates after eating also. I think it is good for kids to learn to do those things.
@mkirby624 (1599)
• United States
12 Jul 07
What she doesn't realize is when her kids turn 18, they aren't going to suddenly become responsible...especially if she's never taught her kids how to be. You are completely in the right here, your kids should do things for themselves!
1 person likes this
@Lucille7 (509)
• South Africa
12 Jul 07
You are not a slave driver by no means. Each child needs to take responsibility for his/her own things and have some type of responsibility to actually keep the home running and in good order. I am a single mom and I work full time and I will never cope if I have to do everything for my kids like that. All kids love to work... it is only when they become teenagers that they do not enjoy it... but the younger they are the better. I have to agree with you. Children have to learn to work and to know that nothing in life is free and that whatever they want to achieve one day comes with hard work. The value of work teaches children many things. I do not pay my kids for doing chores because they get plenty and that should be enough. They do however get some pocket money from time to time. There is a proverb that says: Work, good honest work never yet killed anybody. So keep up the good work in teaching your children the value of work and the value of having respect for themselves and their things... In this way they will one day have respect for everybody and everything else. These are good and righteous values.
1 person likes this
@321633wy (1795)
• United States
12 Jul 07
This topic is a great discussion topic! I could really go into some depth here but it's late. So let me just say that what you ask your kids to do is nothing compared to say a hundred years ago or what some kids in third world countries have to do. Kids, particularly American ones, need to realize that most good things aren't just handed to them. They need to work for them. I think you are right on track. Keep up the good work!
1 person likes this
• Canada
11 Jul 07
I think what you are doing is fair. As you said, you are teaching them to be responsable adults (not to mention your also paying them for it). Besides, what are they supposed to do when they move out? Better they learn as kids because it is easier to mould them than as adults.
1 person likes this
@jillbeth (2711)
• United States
11 Jul 07
I think you are on the right track. Children need to learn that they are part of the family, that the family doesn't revolve around them, and that everyone needs to pitch in. Children should be taught clean up after themselves. My daughter-in-law was raised with a maid and the poor girl is totally inept in the kitchen, although she does do housework because she's a neat freak. How else will they learn the right way to keep a home if they don't learn while growing up?
1 person likes this
@Thoroughrob (11750)
• United States
23 Jul 07
You are absolutely not a slave driver. It is responsibility. Even in the older days, the kids were helping the parents. I don't understand why people think that kids should have to do nothing. I have a sister-in-law that has 2 kids, one is 19 and one is 14 and neither of them ever has to do anything. The 19 year old is at home with her and does nothing to help her. They both are working and she still does his laundry and picks up after him. She even mows the lawn. He helps with no bills, even his. He puts his money in the bank and buys real expensive items with his money, but all of his little items, she does. That is not showing him responsibility in my opinion. You are not a slave driver.
@ginger73 (30)
• Philippines
12 Jul 07
No you are not. I did the same with my little girl. Giving them chores is one way of training them how to handle things in life, how to be responsible and how to be helpful. Life is not always a bed of roses hence, if one is already trained to work he or she will not have difficulty in facing challenges in life.
@Whisp1976 (488)
• United States
12 Jul 07
I agree with your attitude about children and chores. It prepares them for the real world later on and helps them understand that nothing is free and we must work for the things we want. The woman you had the argument with is raising the type of people who think the world owes them a living. I wonder if she will still be so sure she is right and you are wrong in twenty years when her children are adults who act like parasites and still expect her to keep giving. Dismiss this woman's words, it sounds to me as though you are raising your kids to become responsible, well-rounded adults who will have a better chance of success and independence.
@wilynn (753)
• Singapore
12 Jul 07
I think not. Giving the kids chores is good for their well being when they grow into adults. Well, simple chores are fine. For more complicated ones, you may throw in some bonus such as cash to encourage them. Its like a part time job for them. I don't see anything wrong with it. It teaches them some life skills. You are in fact training them for the time when they are going out into the cruel world to fend for themselves. I support what you do.
@kareng (7980)
• United States
12 Jul 07
She will soon come to the realization that her kids will be lazy and never pick up anything while living at home. Wooo be unto her if they still live at home after age 18. She will have a huge awakening if she thinks she can flip a switch and just because they turn 18 will be responsible adults. Becoming a responsible adult requires a good upbringing--one like you are providing your kids with! I don't know of many 18 year olds that are totally on their own and totally responsible for their living expenses, do you? I know I didn't kick my kids out at 18 and my youngest two are 20 and they still ask to borrow money when in a bind. Keep up the good work. You are teaching your kids responsibility and also how to do things. You are keeping them active and out of trouble and also teaching them how to help others and one another by lending a hand. Smile hon, you are not a slavedriver, you sound like a normal parent to me!
@jodenton (222)
12 Jul 07
I think you are doing a great job! When/if I have kids I aim to do the same thing. I don't think you are a slave-driver at all. Just teaching your kids to be considerate. Afterall you have 4 yes? It must get quite crowded at times!! Not having toys underfoot must be a great help!!
• Australia
12 Jul 07
Hey snoopy04, trust in yourself that you are doing what is best for your kids. I grew up in a home with chores and consequences for not doing them. I have never resented my parents from giving me responsibilities. However, I have grown into a lazy adult, and have unfortunately not done my kids any favours by making them lazy like myself. You are doing the right thing. I hope I have time to correct the error of my ways before my kids are too old. Good job and be proud of guiding your kids on the right path to adulthood knowing what basic life responsibilities are!!
@Zmugzy (773)
12 Jul 07
No, I don't think you're a slave driver. It's a good idea to give your kids some chores to do. It will give them a sense of being responsible amongst other things. Especially when it concerns cleaning up there own mess.
@archie20 (39)
• United States
12 Jul 07
You are definitely doing the right thing. The kids will learn to be more giving this way. otherwise imagine when they get married . My husband is a classic example. He is the baby of the house although he is over 30. He is youngest so everybody has pampered him. he doesnt do any housework even after asking to do .i blame my in laws for that. Had they been like you he wud have been much better. imagine if i am lazy or tired or sick to do anything i end up doing everything becoz he will make a huge mess and make some bland food and tell me here eat it. Go by your instincts in parenting. Dont listen to anybody else. You are doing a fine job. Your kids are lucky to have u as a parent. they will thank you for this some day.There are other ways to pamper kids and not making them do chore is definitely not one of them.
@deebomb (15322)
• United States
12 Jul 07
I admire you for giving your kids chores and teaching them to do for them selves. You are doning the job that the good Lord gave you. That job is to teach your children responsibality and how to take care of themselve. The habits that you are teaching your children will be with them for the rest of their lives. This woman you spoke about I pitty her children. They will not know how to do any thing nor will anyone want to marry them. And I for one would not care to have this woman or her kids to visit me. I don't like rude kids wether the rudness is to me or to their parents. So you may be a slave driver but you are being the beter parent.
• India
12 Jul 07
Very difficult to opine on this subject as being an Indian mother, I have been brought up to see pampered children. Making children do household chores here is almost like sacrilege. Yet I understand and agree with you too. I realize that if I don’t teach my son to do some household chores, then forget about me, he will make life miserable for his wife. Twenty years from now on, even in India, most women will work, they will have fewer servants to fall back on and family life, in general, will become like what you have in the developed nations now. Then for him to have a view that being the husband, I wont fetch even a glass of water (general view of Indian husbands), will take him nowhere. It’s very important that kids today (who will become adults of tomorrow) value and respect all forms of labour. Yet, Indian households are not so mechanized yet, like we don’t have dishwashers and vacuum cleaners and the like. So in that sense, I would feel guilty if I were to make my son go down on his knees and wipe the floors or manually scrub the dishes after dinner. But yes, taking care of his own things and generally looking after himself, is totally his department.
@Bobbz21 (155)
• New Zealand
12 Jul 07
No I dont think you are a slavedriver....I believe strongly that children should have chores to do. I have children and I make them do chores to, I always tell them that you have to work for what you want in life, cos Im not going to be around forever and dont rely on anyone else to do your work, always have pride in yourself. I know how you feel, I get shocked when I see my nieces and nephews talk down on their parents and I just cant believe that they can get away with that. Im glad you teach your children responsibilities, its better now then later.
@sid556 (31003)
• United States
12 Jul 07
No your'e not being a slave driver! Most parents I know give their kids chores to do. When i was growing up,i had many chores. I never gave my kids as many as what i had but they all had to do something each day. not only did it teach them some responsibility, I think it gave them a sense of belonging. This wasn't just my home....it was theirs as well. It was up to all of us to keep it neat and clean.