Besides providing care and nourishment and love for our children, parents should provide the little routines that make kids feel comfortable while giving them structure in their lives, and as they grow, responsibilities. Being responsible can help your child feel important, but it also lets them know that they matter and can contribute to their family and even their community. So when your children are growing and family life gets busy, it makes sense to begin giving your little ones responsibilities around the house. Some people call them chores. Some parents give an allowance or other reward to their kids when they keep up with these tasks — or not.
Dad chasewhit2003 took to Reddit‘s Am I The Asshole forum because he’s receiving hate from friends and family who say he and his wife shouldn’t give their children chores. The couple have four children — ages 6, 8, 10, and 12 — and when they each turned 5 years old, the parnets taught them how to fold and put away their own laundry.
“Wife or I operate the machines, but the kids assist in moving the washed clothes to the dryer,” the OP explains. “When done, they put the clothes into a basket, fold them in the living room, and put them away. We believe that it teaches them a skill early in life, helps them appreciate honest work, and frees my wife and I from doing 8-10 loads of laundry a week that just get dumped in the floor.”
Sounds pretty smart if you ask us. These kids are being responsible and taking care of their own clothing. How cool is it that they’ll be able to do laundry as they head off to college and live on their own? Some adults still don’t know how to properly wash their own clothes. But apparently, the decision was controversial!
“When our friends and family found out, they looked at us like we murdered our children,” the OP explained. ” ‘They’re just babies, they shouldn’t have to do that.’ We’ve never passed judgment on anyone for the way they raise kids, and don’t understand all the hate.” The dad seems shocked by the response from his friends and family, so he took the situation to the Reddit forum.
User coldbloodedjelydonut’s vote was NTA [not the asshole]. “My kid learned how to clean a toilet at 5. He hates that chore so I told him he doesn’t have to do it as long as his pee goes in the toilet. If it hits the floor or any spray action happens, it’s all him. He also knows how to do dishes, fold and put away laundry, vacuum, dust, mop the floor. It’s sometimes a battle, but I’m not raising a lazy freeloader. When he hits 12 in a few years we’ll see how he does with the lawnmower and I’ll suggest he starts a business doing lawns and he can see if the neighbours want to hire him.
“My parents taught me how to do everything at a young age and I’m not scared of any task or job. I want my kid to be confident and competent, and know that he’s not above any task.”
And user Thelialo conjured up Marie Kondo’s method of tidying up. “NTA I did the laundry after hearing Marie Condo suggest getting kids excited about tidying up so I tried it and to this day my 3 and 5 year old always ask to help when I do the laundry so I give them little tasks appropriate for their age. They love it. I’d give them more but they can’t fold like her and I just can’t go back to normal folding lol.”
From the kid’s perspective, this user says he wishes he had parents like the OP. “I wish my parents taught me some sort of discipline when it comes to chores. I’m the youngest of 5 and by the time I rolled around my mum was firmly an “it’s just easier if I do it” kind of person. I’ve had to teach myself so much, and now have panic attacks when I try to cook. I also have severe mental illnesses that absolutely don’t help, but I feel super useless while I try to learn at the age of 23.”
There’s a lot to be said about the way children are raised, and the way that they learn responsibilities, which many times influences their levels of responsibility as an adult. We’re glad that these parents are giving that to their kids, and pushing back on the hater friends and family who think that helping with the laundry is too much.
Before you go, check out these celebrity parents who have help at home from nannies.