Chores. Once met with groans and brokered with allowances, chores have become a family matter during COVID-19. But it's bigger than that. At some point in a child's life — before you know it, parents — they have to move out of mom and dad's house and live on their own, with no choice but to take care of their own space and be courteous to potential housemates. They'll have to find something healthy to eat, without your guidance, and the trash will have to be taken out or cleaned up.
Why wait to get your kids involved in the duties that come up in our day-to-day lives? There's no reason to. Spartans value preparation in anticipation of adventure, obstacles, and — especially right now — the minutiae of everyday life. My daughter is 13 years old and, prior to this pandemic, she didn't know how to properly scrub a bathroom floor. Shame on me! Elbow grease is not an antiquity, last I checked. Another colleague wished he'd learned how to fix the faucet and change lightbulbs before he was married. From laundry to lightbulbs, don't wait for college to learn these simple, ever-critical skills.
More Kids Content: How Real Spartan Parents Keep Kids Eating Healthy During Quarantine
With COVID-19 keeping us inside, it's a perfect opportunity to be productive and bond together. Plus, everyone feels a sense of accomplishment when they cook, rake, and clean up. Here's a look at the everyday lives of Spartan parents, and how their kids are helping with Home Ec. Now that's a homeschool class that parents are more than happy to teach.
Swap Chores for Home Ec Lessons: Laundry 101? Let's GOOO!
No One Likes Taking Out the Garbage or Doing Dishes
Courtney De Sena, Wife of Spartan Founder, Vermont (Mother of Jack 14, Charlie 12, Catherine 11, and Alex 7)
And this is why taking out the garbage is the epitome of chores. It's so appreciated, makes life so much better, and no one ever wants to do it. Plus, since we're all home, there seems to be many more trips to the rubbish bin (even if you've been inspired to compost). And dishes are a rite of passage. Plus, Spartan families have to stay gender-neutral, so make sure the boys can set tables (knife on the right, blade facing in) and the girls can separate recycles (only approved plastics).
Start With Laundry and Recruit Singing Celebs (Like Daniel Tiger)
Jen Macari, Spartan Kids Product and Outreach Manager (Mother of Jordyn, 5)
Chores are part of our everyday household function. We make cleaning up the room/playroom fun with songs and games. Daniel Tiger is a staple, most notably his wonderful clean-up song — watch here — that helped motivate my little one when she was younger. Now as a 5-year-old, chores are still expected. (And there's no grumbling ... yet.)
Toddlers Belong in the Kitchen, Cooking Healthy Food
David Watson, Head of Sport and Vice President of Product (Father of Luke, 3)
Luke is in Singapore and is cooking up a healthier version of chocolate for Spartans of any age. It's also a great boost for Spartan Kids and parents who need an energy hit before they exercise! It's vegan, paleo, and gluten-free.
INGREDIENTS: 1/4 cup coconut oil (substitute with any neutral-tasting oils, such as canola or safflower) 1/4 cup rice syrup (substitute with agave or maple syrup) 1 tablespoon tahini or your favorite nut butter 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder 2 tablespoons greens powder or protein powder (preferably plant-based) — optional but recommended Pinch salt 1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence
- Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl until smooth.
Spoon onto greased baking paper and form into a 1/4-inch-thick shape. You can make a bunny, or a Spartan helmet! Alternatively, spoon into silicone molds. (Any shape will do. You can even use muffin molds or an ice cube tray. Make sure not to use hard plastic, or you won't be able to remove the chocolate.)
Freeze it for 30 minutes.
Any time you want to eat some, grab it straight from the freezer and go!
Bathroom Basics: Elbow Grease Is Free
Kristen Dollard, Spartan VP of Content, New Jersey (Mother of Avery, 13, and Luke, 8)
Shame on me that my 13-year-old didn't know how to scrub a bathroom. (Cleaning wouldn't cut it. I require scrubbing until you break a sweat.) I also put a timer on and limited the number of paper towels she could use. Spartans manufacture obstacles, right? My kids absolutely need to use elbow grease to clean the bathroom they use. Oh, and this was, of course, the lesson I required they learn after they bathed the dog in the tub!
Yardwork Is An Outdoor Workout
Dr. Lara Pence, Spartan Chief Mind Doc, Colorado (Mother of Parker, 9, and Keaton, 5)
There is just something about hauling mulch, wielding a shovel, and being with mom or dad that screams, "I got this."