Living with kids: “Kids, do your chores because I said so”


QUSE : Regarding chores, another expert recommends giving a child a certain number of tokens, like poker chips, every month and if they don’t do a chore or do it incorrectly, you take a token away. Tokens can be used to buy clothes and other things the child wants but doesn’t necessarily need. The child can also make lost tokens by doing extra chores. My wife and I are looking for a way to get our kids, ages 6 and 9, to lift light objects around the house. What do you think of this system?

ARESPONNSE : I’m not for paying children to take responsibility for the house. A child of capable age (from about 3 years old) should take on their fair share of household responsibilities. The chores in question must be done because the child is a member of the family, period.

Tying chores to reimbursement creates the impression in the child’s mind that they don’t have to do their chores if they don’t want, at least for now, the reimbursement suspended for them.

Parents today are generally uncomfortable with exercising what I call “because I said so” authority at home. This hesitation/aversion dates back to early 1970s parenting experts like psychologist Thomas Gordon, author of one of the best-selling books on parenting of that decade. Gordon argued that parents who adhere to a traditional parenting model will inflict apocalyptic psychological damage on their children.

Gordon’s claims, none of which were supported by research or historical evidence, were echoed by the entire mental health professional community. Aided by the mainstream media, Gordon and his followers completely changed the American approach to child-rearing.

Fifty years after this social engineering experiment, it should be obvious that the paradigm shift in question has only been bad for children, families, schools and culture.

“Because I said so” is nothing less than legitimate, as asserted by the fact that since the paradigm shift in question – from “Because I said so” to “Do you want to , Okay ? – every marker of positive mental health in children decreased, and significantly so.

The children who are doing the best – emotionally, socially and educationally – are those whose parents do not respect the new rules, which boil down to “Keep your children happy at all costs”.

My wife and I woke up to common sense – which had been brought into submission during my graduate school experience – when our children were 10 and 6 years old. An expression of our revived common sense revealed that two children who had been on “welfare” were doing almost all of the household chores and for no other reason than we told them, in no uncertain terms, that they were going to do it. To do.

Did he like the new diet? Absolutely not! They complained bitterly. But they did their chores and they will tell you today that their household responsibilities were essential to their successful adult lives.

By the way, when one of our kids asked, “Why do I have to do this stuff?” we replied, “So that you have even more reason to leave the house when the time comes.” And they did!

[Family psychologist John Rosemond:, Copyright 2022, John K. Rosemond]


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