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Managing Vs. Mentoring
Thanks for all your comments on the post below about age appropriate chores!

I want to clarify a couple of things, so go here and read this post first if you're just joining the conversation.

Okay, are you back now? Great!

A couple of people have posted that they actually think my list is too young--which is great! That means I'm not a child abuser.

But I need to clarify what I mean by those ages. I mean that at that age, you can tell them to do it, and they will do it without supervision. So clean your room at 8 means that at 8, they can put everything away. They know where it goes. Perhaps twice a year you may have to go in there and reorganize all their drawers, but on the whole, they are responsible for their room.

If they're responsible at 8, though, that means they're doing it long before 8. It takes a child a while to master the task.

I was talking to a good friend of mine recently and she put it like this. When she was a little girl, every night she stood on a stool beside her mother and dried dishes. Then, when she was 10, her mother handed her the dischloth, and she started to wash dishes. But she had observed her mother doing dishes for so many years that she could jump right in.

That is mentoring. It's walking alongside your child to train your child.

Unfortunately, too many of us just manage. We assign chores, but we don't take long enough to truly help the child master what it is they're supposed to do. So what I would do with the list I wrote below is take everything on it, and two years before, start mentoring your child in that task, so by the time they reach that age, they can accept the job on their own.

I hope that makes some sense! I'd love to hear more comments!

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At 8:44 PM , Blogger Org Junkie said…

I couldn't agree more Sheila. My kids both have daily and weekly chores. They know what is expected of them and just do it, everybody pitches in which makes less work for any one person (me!).


At 12:41 AM , OpenID runningtherace said…

My oldest is almost 2. She shocked her grandparents on Sunday because she helped pick up all the toys she'd played with. All I had to do was ask her and give specific directions. Apparently, no child has ever picked up after themselves at Nana's house (including my husband). My daughter also has to put her own clothes in the hamper, put up her toys and books, wipe off her high chair top, and put her own shoe on. I don't think there is such a thing as too young to teach a good work ethic. You just have to figure out what they can do and teach them how to do it.


At 1:14 AM , Blogger Shellie said…

I think that your ages in general are good, but each child is different. What you said about mentoring is so very true and I wished I had learned that part of it years ago.

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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