Chores: what a difference a year makes

When BE was still in kindergarten, we began assigning her chores. It was a total disaster. It completely overwhelmed her and she often had meltdowns. We would get very frustrated and the whole situation would escalate. The worst chore for her was vacuuming under the dinner table.

We hadn’t yet been introduced to BCLC, so we saw her behavior as defiant, not fearful. At the end of that summer, BE broke her wrist and was in a cast for several months. Chores were suspended, and were finally reinstated a few weeks ago (about a year later).

My laziness in restarting the chores turned out to be a great idea. As BCLC points out, many traumatized children are emotionally younger than their chronological age. At age 5, it’s likely that BE was emotionally much younger, and our chores were completely unreasonable for her capabilities. Now that BE is a little bit older, both emotionally and chronologically, chores are much easier. We haven’t had one fight or tantrum over chores the last few weeks. For me, the lesson is – be sensitive to your child’s emotional age.

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