Recently I saw this fun Age-Appropriate Chores for Children chart. It got me thinking about the parenting that occurs at my house. Everyday in my home a silent war between my wife and I occurs. This unspoken war is what makes us, I hope, really great parents. My wife and I come from different parenting schools, in raising our 3 and 6 year old children. Although we fall on opposite sides of the scale, we both respect and rarely judge each others parenting styles.
First, my wife is a classic attachment parent. Bless her heart, she would lay down in a puddle so that my 2 children would not have to walk through it. She is a successful, and confident business owner, but the second she gets home she becomes cook to order chef, and waitress for my kids. She would rather undergo the worst in physical pain rather than let my kids "cry it out".
My parenting style on the other hand leans more towards the "Free Range Kids" style. I preach independence with my children, maybe to a fault. They have to order their own food at restaurants or they don't eat, at home they get whatever I make for meals. As far as chores go, if they don't clean up their rooms I will go through and throw away anything not worth substantial value. Disagreements are met with figure it out or both go to your room. In fact I have my children yelling "Independence" as a rallying cry anytime something comes up they do without parental help.
So which of these styles is correct? I think it depends on the kids and a million other factors. I think kids need to be exposed to both.
So back to the early mention of the Age-Appropriate Chores for Children and how it relates to parenting. I personally love it! But I also am smart enough to know without my wife and her never-ending patience to help the children through the chores these tasks are not learning experiences. I guess that is what makes kids who they are. The balance of adult supervision and unrelating "independence". So before you have your 6 year old raking the leaves, you may want to make sure you are willing to work through the effort it takes to teach and the patience it takes to have a lawn raked by a 6 year old.