I teach parenting classes and do some parent training at my local church and school.
As I've noted else where in this blog I was a play therapist in my earlier career and this volunteer work is an extension of that earlier Social Work stuff.
With that in mind I wanted to give some color commentary on the Love and Logic concept of 'contributions to the family'--chores to the old fashioned, and how that should affect character education in our classrooms. Essentially the Fayes note that chores are important for children to feel connected to the family and I couldn't agree more. That connectedness is what I wanted to write about.
The structure of chores-whatever structure one puts in place-is the lattice work of family and familial style relationships. Structure for the family is one hard won inch of ground every day, a bed time achieved and wake up time observed, a log or chore chart updated these are the things that are important in a family because they give parent and child a chance to fight, squabble, and grow close over a (mostly) dispassionate practice vs. over one another.
Through focusing on a job the child has the opportunity to express their genuine and authentic love for the family. The parent on the other hand has the gratification of seeing their child grow into self-sufficiency and in their awareness of themselves as part of a larger whole.
As chores are hung on the lattice work of structure they become grist for the relationship mill: Why do I have to do this chore, the hard chore? Why do I always have the hard chores? you didn't do your chores?-what should those consequences be? etc.
In describing this Eden of implementing chores with your kids I'm sure you are champing (it's really 'champing'- I always thought it was chomping, too) at the bit to get those arguments started! There's good with the bad-these same arguments will allow a million touch points to make your relationship with your kids better. Soon their chores will indeed contribute to the wellness of the family and in the meantime the structure provided will give you the platform to teach cause and effect & responsibility to your kids but also to enjoy them and their growth.
The final reason chores and structure are so important in the home is by virtue of the fact that chores in the home help build Agency in children. As I've posted elsewhere in this blog Agency is the concept that refers to the extent to which an individual controls their environment. Agency is about predictable, consistent, and reliable feedback such that the individual can take advantage of the prevailing circumstances to help themselves out. The more we can build agency in our kids the better. Chores are without question the best way to build agency at home (and probably at school, too but that's yet to be determined). In the Steven Pressfield sense of the word this is one of the highest callings of 'work' there is.
Growing agency is an important consideration for today's kids. Grit is the skill many schools and families are focused on when character education is considered but there's no clear formula for growing grit in kids. The path to growing agency in kids is clear. Score another point for agency/grit.