Want less stress and a cleaner house? Make your kids do the work.

Yes, I’m being just a bit facetious. But over at my Babble blog today, I’m reflecting about how having lots of kids – and, by necessity, being forced to expect a lot of them in return – has made me a happier mom and perhaps, is helping my children grow up into more productive adults:

…I’m not sure most of those who stopped at one or two kids take adequate advantage of their young family members. After all, I started out as a fairly typical American parent, wanting my kids to pull their weight, but not always sure how much to expect in an increasingly child-centric culture.

There was no pressing need to drop the hammer from day to day; even without their chipping in, I could still more or less manage (if grumpily.) And frankly, expecting kids to pull their weight – and enforcing those rules day in and day out – is tough. When I had “just” the two kids, the daily tradeoff hardly seemed worth it: better to just do it myself than try to oversee a pair of rambunctious, clumsy pint-sized employees.

It was only when my third was born (my oldest were 4 and 6 at the time) and I realized that I would have to expect more of the older kids for sheer survival’s sake that I began asking my kids to step up. And step up they did, and have, if reluctantly at first… READ THE REST

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