I’ve written about the importance of chores before, including these posts:
The Necessity of Chores
How Full is Your Plate? an online workshop for moms
But what I’ve failed to fully admit is how much easier it would be to do everything myself.
(And it would be done a lot better.)
Why do I bother?
I’d like to say that I do it all for them–to make them better citizens, humans, energetic beings (and that is true); but another truth is that I don’t want to do everything so it’s worth it to have some jobs done less than perfectly.
BUT the angst. THE ANGST!
The reminding. The redirecting. The reprimands.
Sometimes I find myself questioning if it’s worth it, and questioning whether I should be encouraging other people to suffer like this by leading workshops on chore sharing in the home.
And then there are those other times, when in the distance, I hear the sweet and soothing sound of a boy swishing a toilet, or vacuuming a room, or emptying waste baskets; and I think: I AM BRILLIANT.
But what if you like doing your own chores and want them done perfectly?
I still recommend sharing the load. Here’s why:
The Necessity of Chores
But what if your teen’s resistance is so strong that it takes way more energy than you can manage to keep them in the game?
It’s still vital. For them.
Try a dose of creativity, like this:
And now for a new chunk of highly salient information expanding on why it’s worth the EFFORT:
Kids need conflict to grow up. Particularly teenagers. It’s part of the individuation process. It’s how they begin to separate from our cozy nest and shape their own flight.
When I accept that conflict is necessary, I surrender to it, and not just that, I RESPECT it.
This is quite revolutionary.
Conflict isn’t in the way,
it IS The Way.
I’d like to take credit for this awareness, but my therapist gets a lot of that.
See this post for how I put it into action:
Episiotomy (of love)
And here’s something even more radical for your consideration:
Since conflict is a necessary part of the developmental process, particularly with teens, then how cool is it that they get their daily/weekly dose of parental conflict in a way that makes such a foundational difference in family life–working together to honor and contribute to the space we share–rather than investing it in other areas with much higher stakes. (Think sex, drugs, alcohol.)