Our three teenage boys (ages: 15 and twin 14-year olds) have had minimal chores over the years. Our philosophy has been that their job is to be in school and be engaged in at least one extra-curricular activity. Kids who are involved with positive activities have less time to get into trouble.
We recently realized, however, that we have not adjusted their chores for a while and there is a lot to do around our house. Being teenagers, they are capable of a lot of things; they are no longer little kids. Plus, it's a great way to learn about responsibility, etc.
I'm sure I don't have to give you any more reasons why it was a good idea to engage our boys in more chores. The phrase, "It's about time..." comes to mind. :)
The chore that we passed along that has gotten the most attention (and complaints) is having the boys do their own laundry. About two years ago, we implemented, "Laundry Summer" and passed this chore onto them...but over time, I found myself scooping up piles of laundry, running them through the washer and dryer, folding, etc...and doing every one's laundry once again.
Since announcing this change in duties, (about a month ago), I haven't done any of the boys' laundry. Woo hoo!
As you might imagine, their laundry baskets (and the floors of their rooms) are full of dirty laundry most of the time. A couple of them have broken down to run a few loads, but for the most part, I've lost all of my extra laundry baskets, as they are sitting in the boys' rooms with either clean or dirty laundry in them -- or both clean AND dirty laundry...who knows?
While Ryan has washed and dried several loads (notice I did not include "folding"), James has done no laundry (and talks about the benefits of re-using and re-wearing dirty laundry), and Bryce has washed and dried a few loads (notice again the absence of the word "folding), but has complained the LOUDEST about why Mom isn't doing laundry any longer.
- "We go to school and you don't even work a full time job! Why can't you do the laundry?"
- "I think it's dumb that WE have to do our own laundry" (although when he said this in front of a couple of his friends, they informed him that they do their own laundry.)
- And several other complaints statements in a whiny teenage voice.
"I feel sorry for Mom for having to do this her entire life."Shocking! Tom just laughed and when he told me later, I smiled, feeling a small sense of satisfaction. Did that actually come out of his mouth? Yes! He had a small realization of the value of something that he has taken for granted for so many years.
Not having to constantly do laundry AND hearing Bryce's statement about me doing the laundry for so many years, were both Perfect Moments for me.
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