Children need productive, hard and valuable work to do. In our current society most children spend the ages of two to eighteen just sitting around and killing time waiting to be adults. For most of them when they do hit eighteen they take off like a rocket for good and sometimes for bad trying desperately to fill this aching void inside themselves. Autism doesn’t exist in the Amish community and some say it’s diet, some say it’s a lack of vaccines, and I’m sure those play a role but I think a lot of it is lifestyle. What our society calls mild autism, or sensory issues might just be children not living a valued life full of meaning and close to nature or the symptoms of mild autism might disappear or become lessened when one feels like they are an important member of their community. As our modern society progresses children are not treated or seen as valuable, productive members of their community and hence they act like it. They are restless, they are bored, they are numb. We have life so easy now it seems like there is little we can find for a child to do to keep them busy and productive. We might have them make their bed or empty the dishwasher but these things are small time and petty and the child feels that. We aren’t relying on them, they aren’t needed. We must convince children they are needed in order for their self worth to flourish. Invest in it a bit. Get them work aprons, work gloves, work shoes if you can. So here are some ideas for children to help out around the house.
Sweeping (rooms, baseboards, porches, garages, etc)
Shoveling (snow, dirt, digging holes, etc)
Feeding animals and/or making food for animals
Move furniture for mom to clean under
Mow the lawn
Trim the hedges
Haul the garbage
Clean outside cans, tools, pots, storage areas, etc
Polish and sort tools
Wash the car, vacuum it out, change the oil, check the tires
Build, mend and paint fences and gates
Fertilize and water lawns and plants
Break rocks either to get out of the ground or for landscaping
Build small useful items like stools, benches, clothes lines, etc.
Mix soil, transplant plants, dig garden beds, lay sod, etc
Wash and wipe down appliances like the fridge, washer and dryer, etc.
Managing finances, anything from a grocery trip to balancing the check book and paying the bills
Managing, rotating and storing dry goods in your food storage
Building and tending a fire
Whittling useful objects like baby spoons, buttons, toys, etc.
Planning and preparing family meals
Organizing shopping lists
Mending and making family clothes
Tending to smaller children
Washing floors, walls and windows
Laundry, folding, ironing, etc
Clearing the table after a meal
Washing counter tops
Organizing service projects
Reading to younger children
Making the beds, washing and replacing the linens
Hanging the clothes on a line
Feeding and grooming the animals
Vacuuming, sweeping and shampooing floors
Cleaning toilets, bathtubs, fixtures, sinks, etc
Helping little ones get dressed, bathed, etc.
Knitting useful items like potholders, scarves, blankets, etc
Decorating the home to help it look pleasant
Picking out Daddy’s clothes for him to wear
Washing table tops, chairs, high chairs, etc.
Cutting up old clothes for rags
Cleaning out cupboards
Beating out rugs
Choosing nice music to play in the home
Hosting a friend or family member for tea or dinner
Helping with visit teaching
Cleaning the stove and oven
Making dentist and doctors appointments for family members
Organizing photos, scrap books and family history
And my favorite chore for either gender, butter churning! You don’t need a churn either. Buy a mason jar, fill it with heavy whipping cream and you’re ready to shake your way to butter! Burns energy and kids LOOOOOVE making their own butter. It’s often cheaper too and fresh butter is heavenly!
Daily and weekly rhythm is the key to kids who do their chores willingly.
If your children are young (under 10) you are most likely going to have to do these chores with them in order to get them to do them and do them correctly. Don’t shy away from hard work! Your house will be cleaner and more organized and you and your children will save money, sleep better and fight less and most important your children will know they are vital to the function of your family! 🙂