- Letters to the Editor
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Dr. Wellborn's article ("Kids Need Chores, Doctor Says," 12/13/12) is full of statements I find offensive because of their negativity and mean-spiritedness. If I spoke to my husband the way Dr. Wellborn sounds in his article - "I'm not your maid," "You helped create this mess, now get up and help clean it up" - how could I possibly expect to have a successful marriage? If I spoke to my young sons this way, how could I possibly expect them to want to be home and part of our family?
I chose to have my kids, meaning I invited them into my home. Why would I treat them so harshly? Would I speak to a guest in my home (someone else I invited) like this? Only if I wanted to chase them away.
Dr. Wellborn's advice sounds more like the fast track to having so-called "typical" rebellious teenagers. How about demonstrating for your children how to work kindly and calmly together as a team to tackle normal household chores? Honestly, most chores can be done satisfactorily on the fly. And a perfectly clean, organized home can wait until your kids are grown and gone. Some kids will even pitch-in with some chores willingly, especially if they can see the benefit, like "Let's wash these dishes so we have a clear space to bake cookies."
Age and temperament have more to do with a kid's interest in helping than whether a kid is forced under the premise of some ridiculous "time-honored parental expectations," as Dr. Wellborn puts it.
Preparing your kids for the real world, as Dr. Wellborn refers to chores, is better accomplished by example. If your kids see your consistently behaving responsibly, showing personal obligation, organizing and prioritizing, demonstrating sensitivity to others (including them), pride in a job well done and self-sufficiency, they're likely to follow in your footsteps, just as they'll be likely to treat your grandkids badly if that's how you've treated them. Think about it.
Published: December 20, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 36