April 8, 2013
I can stand here, hardly presentable to the public with a shirt wet with perspiration, dirt packed under my nails and nettles gnawing at my already sore fingers, and tell you that it is crucial to learn responsibility at home. I'm not saying children have to be a complete slave to daily chores, but children should have an understanding of responsibility by participating in household cleaning. Chores, which are given throughout childhood, can be the most valuable education system which results in an increase the maturity rate of an individual. I have experienced a successful outcome of my parents training, and to this day, have not regretted it. It is common knowledge that the once excited-to-be-mommy's-little-helper sooner or later becomes quite the trial to motivate when it comes to daily chores. We may ask why is there such a desire in young children to help around the home. It is because humans have a natural desire to learn. The first and most important educational enviroment a child will ever step into is his or her own home. Jane Smiley states, "Mostly the reasons have to do with developing good work habits, or, in the basence of good habits, at least habits of working. No such thing asa free lunch, any job worth doing is worth doing right, work before play, all of that" (Muller & Weiner, 2009, pg. 273). While Smiley was correct as to why parents assign chores to children, I disagree with the fact that she is not impressed with the reasons for giving children chores. She views chores as a task to get over and done with, most likely because many chores are not her idea of fun. Yes, not every chore is favorable and in our liking. As a young child I liked to fold the laundry and plant the lettuce and tomato seeds in the garden, though I'm sure my attempts at such jobs were highly inadequate at the inexperience of my age. I vaguely remember disliking the chores of cleaning the hamster cage and cleaning my room. Yet, I had to do it. Children need to learn that not all chores will be bliss, just as some classes in school are unavoidable, no matter how much you dislike or don't understand them. Allowing a child to only do the chores he or she likes is the same as saying, "Okay, you can go to school, but you don't have to take math or history since you don't like either of them." As I said earlier, it is a natural desire to learn. A child; however, will not learn naturally. It is the parents' duty to teach and train the child. Every skill we have comes with teaching. I could only imagine what kind of cardiac arrest my mother would have had if I stepped into the kitchen when I was five years old and whipped up some lasagna, garlic bread, and cooked broccoli for dinner, without my mother's guidance in the past. Yet, my mother would be comfortable giving me dishes that need to be dried with a towel, which Jane Smiley would consider the 'dirty jobs that no one wants to do'. Is it really a dirty job? No. Its a job that is suitable to the skill which I have aquired. At the age of ten, I was given more responsibility of preparing some of the food, doing kitchen cleanup, and so on. By the time I was twelve, I delved into most of the responsibilities around the home. Jane Smiley makes another true statement concerning work contribution of the family, "According to this rationale, the child comes to understand what it takes to have a family, and to feel that he or she is an importand, even indispensible member of it" (Muller & Weiner, 2009, Pg. 274). Her statement is true if she stops there. She expresses that it teaches a child they are loved only when they do the chores. I have in no way felt that if I skipped doing a chore at home that my parents would love me less. I do know they wouldn't be happy that I would be ignoring their attempt of instruction. I do not do chores to earn love. I do chores because I love my family and...