New Apostolic Church USA

June 2017 | Helping around the house

PART 1

Hello there!

Though the end-goal is raising children who become mature, responsible adults, training children in the area of helping around the house isn’t always easy.

In fact, sometimes it can be downright awful! Children will do almost anything to get out of chores. Often kids spend more time arguing about their chores than actually doing them. Some parents throw their hands up in the air and, to alleviate the tension, end up doing the chores themselves.

Ultimately, the chore is not the issue—it’s what you are training your children for. Yes, it’s often easier to run your child’s socks upstairs and put them away, or pick up the toys in the family room. But as the parent you are not only teaching responsibility but what it means to be part of something—in this case, a family. However, the longer-term goal is to teach them the importance of working together to accomplish something bigger than themselves.

Perhaps a simple shift in attitude will help create an atmosphere in the home where kids want to help with chores.

Chores teach what it means to be part of a team. One father tells his children, “We are part of a Team-Smith. We all have to work together, or the family won’t win the game!” Rather than communicating to the child he or she has to do what mom or dad says just because, strive to instill a team spirit in the home. We all work together because we are a team, and we want to “win the game.”

You can also strive to teach children to work hard, but leave time for fun. This is a value that the child will carry into adult life. Another mom says to her children, “After we work, we get to play!” When kids begin to whine and complain, remind them of something fun coming later in the day or week. When we work together as a family to keep things rolling in the house, it opens up time more time to play.

Finally, when children balk at doing chores, you can lovingly remind them cleaning up their toys is ultimately not to please mom or dad, but God. Teach them Colossians 3:23 which says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”

Children are by nature self-focused, and it’s our job as parents to lovingly steer them toward understanding that the earth does not revolve around them. Contributing to the family in the area of chores is just one way to help kids understand the big world they live in and how they play an important part in keeping it going.

We encourage you to try to make some simple shifts in the atmosphere of your home regarding chores. We are praying for you that it becomes a joy for the family and not a source of tension.

We’re committed to walking with you as you parent!

The NAC USA Family Ministry team


PART 2

Our video for this month addresses ideas for engaging your children in “Helping Around the House”. Helping around the house is a simple way to teach your kids to apply godly truths about hard work and responsibility.

Don’t miss out on great discipleship moments by passing off your child’s age or ability as why they can’t do chores. Participating in household tasks is something even very young children can do! However, assigning tasks that are clearly over your child’s head will make chore time terrible for everyone. The following ideas will get you started on age-appropriate chores. Then it’s your turn to be creative and brainstorm jobs appropriate for your child.

2- and 3-year-olds: Shine the bathroom sink with a towel, carry dishes to the sink, pick up toys, fold washcloths, or tear lettuce for the salad.

4- and 5-year-olds: Sort socks, put away toys, help set the table, carry dishes to the sink, stack magazines, put away dishes, or dust.

6- and 7-year-olds: Take the dog for a walk, empty the dishwasher, prepare lunch, make the bed, weed the garden, or rake leaves.

8- and 9-year-olds: Set the table, load the dishwasher, clean the bathroom sink, feed, brush, and bathe the pet, put away laundry, or empty the trash in the bathrooms.

10- and 11-year-olds: Bring in the mail, run the dishwasher, vacuum, fold and put away laundry, take out the garbage, put away dishes.

12- and 13-year-olds: Do laundry and put it away, change sheets, mow the grass, make simple meals, clean the shower and toilet, wash windows, or wash and vacuum the car.

The key to each age and responsibility is to help the child succeed and extend praise. Even very young children want to feel like they did something right and that they were able to contribute to the family and do something “grown up.” Though you may have to re-do some of the tasks, always remember the reason you are having your child help around the house—to help them learn responsibility. Taking responsibility is a normal part of growing up.

We hope this month’s Partnering with Parents topic has given you some tangible ideas for helping around the house. We are praying for you and your family!

Press on in parenting,

The NAC USA Family Ministry team

 

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