Beginning chores

Dear Munchkin,

Last night, I asked you to clear the art supplies and other detritus of the day off of the kitchen table while I finished cooking dinner. You started putting away crayons and paper, but after a couple minutes, you began complaining.

(Heavy sighs.) “My legs are getting tired.”

“I’ve noticed your legs only get tired when I ask you to do a chore. You’ll be fine. You’re making progress but you’re not quite done yet. Please keep working.”

A few minutes later, you were dawdling again. I pointed out some remaining art supplies and a few dirty dishes from snack time a couple hours earlier.

“Those aren’t mine.”

“OK, but I’m still asking you to clear them off the table.”

“Why do I have to do EVERYthing?”

“You have to do everything? Well . . . who does the cooking?”


“And who does the dishes?”


“And who buys your clothes and takes you to school and dance class?”

“You and Daddy.”

“And who works to earn the money for all those things?”

“You and Daddy.”

“So . . . do you have to do EVERYthing?”


“Nnnnoooo . . .”

“That’s right. But this is one thing you can do to help our family, and as you grow, you’ll be able to do more and more. We’re a family, and we all help each other.”


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