A Productive Child is a Happy Child 

 

 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.  

Boys

 

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

Weed

Mow the lawn

Trim the hedges

Haul the garbage

Clean outside cans, tools, pots, storage areas, etc

Polish and sort tools

Simple repairs

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

Chop wood

Break rocks either to get out of the ground or for landscaping

Polish furniture

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

Polishing shoes

Building and tending a fire

Trimming trees

Whittling useful objects like baby spoons, buttons, toys, etc.

 

 

Girls

 

Planning and preparing family meals

Organizing shopping lists

Baking

Mending and making family clothes

Tending to smaller children

Washing floors, walls and windows

Doing dishes

Organizing cupboards

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 furniture

Cleaning toilets, bathtubs, fixtures, sinks, etc

Gardening

Helping little ones get dressed, bathed, etc.

Polishing silverware

Dusting

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

Sewing pillows

Choosing nice music to play in the home

Hosting a friend or family member for tea or dinner

Helping with visit teaching

Service projects

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! 🙂