Independence, Initiation, Responsibility, Self-Respect, Self-Awareness, Empowerment, Service: Chores

by Bob Doman

From our tiniest children, who lack the awareness that they can initiate movement, language, or even play, to our teens and young adults who have not established an identity, a sense of worth, or self-respect and who feel entitled, often one of the most significant missing ingredients is ownership of chores.

Contributing, having chores, jobs, and responsibilities structured into the day is perhaps more vital to our creating a successful adult than is most everything else we try to cram into our children’s lives. School, homework, the teams, the music lessons, swim lessons, skiing lessons, art lessons, Scouts, etc.—all the things that so many parents hold in such high esteem and sacrifice funds, time, and energy to provide for their children often pale in importance to making time for simple chores. Parents often feel they are depriving their children of “opportunities” if they don’t provide a plethora of “stuff.” But does Johnny get up and make his bed? Does he assume responsibility for doing the dishes, cleaning, doing laundry, and taking care of siblings? Are your children doing the fundamental things that teach the lessons that produce successful children and adults?

Helping many thousands of children and following them often for decades, from those with severe disabilities to those who seem to have it all, the outcomes more often than not have to do with putting the entire package together. Our job as parents is to turn these gifts, our children, into happy, successful adults, not big children.

Two years olds can own chores, and teens should be assuming and owning significant responsibilities for the family. These things are not extras to fit in if there is time; these are some of the most foundational pieces that impact your children’s lives and futures.

Please take the time to read the articles and watch the videos. It is that important!


Reprinted by permission NACD Newsletter, August 2019 ©NACD


Chores and Responsibilities Articles and Videos



Highly Capable/Chores Bob Doman

Should My Child Do Chores? Bob Doman

Toddlers Doing Chores Bob Doman

When Should My Child Start Doing Chores? Staci Sargent

What is a Reasonable Amount of Chores for My Child? Staci Sargent


Reprinted by permission NACD Newsletter, August 2019 ©NACD

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