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Why your kids need to work around the house (and how to get them to do it)
Author: Patricia Sprinkle
Third Edition
5.5"x8.5" Trade Paperback
Retail: $12.95US

ISBN 978-1-933523-23-1
Christian Living / Relationships / Family Concerns

Preface to the Third Edition:

When I was first writing this book my friend John, then twelve, assured me it would make me rich. "Parents will buy it, kids will burn it, parents will buy another one, and kids will burn that. But by then it will be too late. The parent's will have already read it."
      John was a friend of our younger son. Whenever his mother came to pick him up, he threw himself in front of our family chore charts on the refrigerator, but because I quoted him in the first edition, I gave his mother a copy when the book came out. Three years later, after we had moved away, we went back to visit and his mother asked, "Don't you have something to say to Mrs. Sprinkle?"
      John gave me a rueful look. "This is where I am supposed to tell you 'thank you.' I just got my first job, sweeping up and cleaning in a restaurant, and the manager hired me because I knew how to do all that."
      This is a book about children and household skills. It talks about:

      —why children need to learn household skills,
      —what we can realistically expect from children at various ages,
      —why we parents often fail to teach skills they will need to know,
      —how to teach skills, not assign chores, and
      —the importance of building a family team that can teach far more than housework.

      I wrote the book not out of expertise, but out of my own desperation. When my children were small, I found many books about how, when, and what to feed them, but nothing on when and how to start them cooking and washing dishes. I found books on toilet training, but few on how to teach them to clean the toilet. Most of the ones I did find were written by men-fathers, to be sure, but not the parent with the day-to-day task of training their children. Since my husband I and started our family late in life, we watched in dismay as our friends raised children who excelled in school, but had no idea how to choose a balanced diet, cook a meal, balance a checkbook, do laundry, or clean and maintain a home. One confessed of her daughter at Smith, "She was offered a job cleaning a woman's house, but I was terrified she'd use the wrong cleaner on the furniture and ruin something."
      As I predicted then, today's young adults are beginning to write their own versions of "Housework for Dummies" because they were not taught skills at home.
      But what a child needs to learn at home is so much more than how to mop a floor. In family team discussions about how to distribute tasks, when to teach new ones, what the consequences will be for failure to pull one's weight, how to improve a chore system that isn't working, and what monetary reward is appropriate for various tasks, a child learns:

      —team building;
      —to do a job even when it may not be pleasant or convenient, because the whole team depends on him or her;
      —how to analyze a system that is not working and come up with new solutions and that failure provides an opportunity to reconsider and change directions; and
      —that actions have consequences.

      Those are not lessons they learn well in schoolrooms or team sports. There, the goal is to achieve and win. At home, the goal is to maintain a household by working together in harmony, with mutual responsibility and benefits.
      After talking with not only parents but with employment counselors, marriage and family counselors, and young adults who have wrecked their lives in the first years of adulthood, I am passionately convinced that when we do not involve children in regular household tasks, we do a great disservice to the children, to our families, and to society as a whole. If we fail to teach a child to take care of personal needs and to function responsibly as part of a family team, we may raise a child with limited capacity to hold a job, sustain a healthy marriage, or minister to others. To put it bluntly, children who do too little in childhood may grow up incapable of doing enough as adults.
      One thing I learned in writing this book is that it is never too late to begin. Even a young adult newly returned to the nest can be placed in a "school for adulthood" and expected to function as part of a family team.
      As you seek to turn your fledglings into adults equipped to live in and be responsible for the world, I pray that you will find encouragement and ideas here to help you in the process. You may find another benefit, too: you will lighten your own load. And when your child sticks out that lower lip and demands, "Do I have to?" this book will give you plenty of ammunition to reply, firmly and confidently, "You most certainly do."


Why your kids need to work around the house (and how to get them to do it)
Author: Patricia Sprinkle
Third Edition
5.5"x8.5" Trade Paperback
Retail: $12.95US

ISBN 978-1-933523-23-1

larger view of cover
buy the book >>>
read the Preface
book details

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