Less Stress for Mom Means Happier Kids


It’s that time of year again. It’s getting hotter; exams are coming for the older kids, and the school calendar is wrapping up with plays, concerts, preschool graduations, sports banquets, and other early summer events. Time to see who needs new bathing suits, maybe sign the kids up for a few activities at the local rec center, and get out the summer toys and kiddie pools for the little ones.

For those of us who will be home with our kids this summer, this time can be a welcome relief– after all, the homework is ending, as well as making lunches and driving kids to practices and school– but it also means they will be home with us more than usual for the next couple months.

Not that we don’t love to be with our kids, but summers can be worn on the moms. While the teachers are looking forward to a well-deserved break, our workload usually ramps up. There’s something to be said about having a house that stays clean when the kids are in school. Not necessarily so in the summer!

Maybe it’s time to consider taking a little more of the workload off us, the parents and delegating more of the housework to the kids. Since they create a lot of the mess, it is only right, if they’re old enough, to have them take responsibility for some of it. It’s good for them to learn this.

Perhaps we can take a lesson from older generations of moms. Their children got up in the morning and were expected to help with the chores. It was not an option. Playing didn’t happen until the work was done, whether it was milking the cows or just straightening up the house. Sometimes we moms of today feel like we have to be the housework committee, the entertainment committee, and everything else. But kids need to learn to be responsible, and they learn this by having responsibilities.

Of course, there will be whining and moaning if this is a new idea in your family, but it’s worth it to stick to your guns. Even young children can help out if it’s approached correctly. The work will seem less overwhelming if the tasks are broken down into small pieces and specific directions are given. Keeping a positive attitude, emphasizing “we are working together because that’s what families do”, playing music, offering incentives, and praise will all help.

If we stick with this attitude, the rewards will eventually come fewer chores for mom, more responsible kids, and a happier family. Go for it!

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