About 18 years ago my eldest brother, who happened to be very successful, decided to let his gardener go. We were all baffled and asked, "Why? Why on earth would you do that?" He said, "How am I going to teach my kids to do chores if we don't have any to do?" I remember him talking about how painful it was to make that choice.
My Mom and Dad didn't have the luxury of cleaners or gardeners. They had us working by their side in the garden and the house. My Mom made work charts, chore charts, laundry charts; you name it my Mom had a chart for it and we all knew how to work!
Rereading Louisa May Alcott's Little Women this week with my 13-year-old daughter, I stumbled upon this passage that reminded me of the essentials.
"Wealth is certainly a most desirable thing, but poverty has its sunny side, and one of the sweet uses of adversity, is the genuine satisfaction which comes from hearty work of head or hand; and to the inspiration of necessity, we owe half the wise, beautiful, and useful blessings of the world. "
I am guilty of being spoiled; I have a cleaner. There are days I think maybe I am doing it all wrong and I need to be more like my brother. It was certainly a bold move he made. Let us all try to raise hard working, ethical kids; they will be happier for it. Give em chores people, give em chores.
P.S. Homework is no excuse to get out of chores, they need to manage their time as well. Don't let them grow up entitled and spoiled!
—Allison Ochs Social Worker M.S.W. , Coach, Expat, Mother of three, Wife