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Exempting Your Child from Chores (Make Your Child’s Birthday Special, Part 3)

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Evan’s birthday burst! More on that in Part 2 of this series.

This year, we discovered another way to make birthdays special without spending a cent: excusing the birthday boy from chores.

After finishing his breakfast this morning (a special one — more on that later in this birthday series), Evan wandered into the kitchen and started unloading plates out of the dishwasher.

“Hey, no chores, remember?!?” I fake scolded him. “It’s your birthday!”

He grinned and said, “Yeah, but what if I feel like doing it?” I rolled with it and told him to go ahead. He put away the plates, came back to the dishwasher, paused, and said with a smile, “Okay, that’s enough.” 😆

Our chore system has only been around a couple months ago.

Before then, I’d had “figure out chores for the boys” on my to-do list literally for years. I’m an avid reader and had come across articles time and time again attesting to the benefits of having children contribute to the work of the household — here’s a representative piece — so I was happy we finally found a system that works for us.

“System” might actually be overstating it; our chores arrangement is pretty simple, but it’s working. More on that in another post.

Back to kids’ birthdays. Besides all the benefits of chores I’d previously read about, this round of birthdays helped me uncover a new one. With a daily chore as the norm, there’s the potential for pure delight when a child is excused from all duties on their birthday.

Keeping this post short because guess what? I need to go unload the dishwasher.

But remembering the joy on Evan’s face when he declared he was abandoning his task will make me smile as I’m doing it.

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  1. My kids moan and groan about chores, but they’ve had something to be responsible for since they could carry their plates to the sink. Am hoping the extra time it takes to parent all the chores will pay off some day!

    1. I agree! I think it’s so important for kids to learn that everyone is responsible for contributing to the household, but there’s often a lot of complaining at our house, too.

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