What chores did children do in the past?
To mow the lawn in summer and shovel the snow in winter. To cross streets safely. Parents didnt chauffer us to school.
Growing up in the 50’s and early 60’s in a large family, responsibilities were given before the age of 5, watching over younger siblings and light house chores such as clearing the table after each meal. As I got older, by the time I reached the age of 12, I was able to sew all of my dresses and sewed for you younger sisters, wash and iron the clothes, cook a complete meal, bake bread for each day of the week and clean the whole house, help keep the yard swept.
I'm a quilter. I have read that at the age of 5 a girl was taught how to piece a simple nine patch square. She was to complete a quilt a year because in ten years she would be of marigable age and would need her own linens. And there was no Walmart then.
I grew up in the city, but ran to the country when I was 20 years old, and married a Farmer. My only sibling was a Girly Girl and I was the Tomboy. Before I was 9 years old I could drive, change a tire, re-wire my mother's vacuum cleaner that she yanked all the plugs off of, shoot a gun with amazing accuracy, paint buildings neatly, and do basic woodworking projects. My father taught me everything HE knew, and told me to never be dependent on my future husband. My first REAL job was as an Auto Mechanic for Sears Auto Centers while I went to school to become a Police Officer, which I DID. Now, as a Senior Citizen, I can still do all those things and all the wife and mom stuff as well. NO ONE should rely on others to do what they can do for themselves, even today, with technology and automatic everything. It's up to Parents to turn off the electronics and teach your kids to be self-sufficient. We could lose the Grid at any time, then what?
Because of the huge change in technology in the last 150 years, it's understandable that times and chores have greatly changed. We have a blended family full of adult millennials. They are of both genders, both political parties and all in their 20's and 30's. They are all hard workers who have chosen different careers, some own homes and some don't, some have children and some don't, some live near us and some don't. t of nine kids, only the youngest still lives with us but has a full-time job and pays his own bills. I'll never understand the term, 'snowflake,' and why people feel the need to somehow insult another person simply because they have made different choices or be held responsible for what parents have or have not taught them. Every generation has worked hard for what they have and that continues with this generation. It's just the kind of work that coincides with the current times. People need to relax.
Shoot and dress a deer, keep chickens/ducks/geese , and rabbits and also dress those. Till the garden space, plant it keeping it perfectly weeded (or else!) and then can the produce in the fall. We also helped our folks to seine smelt with a net out of a river, and process the HUGE garbage can full we caught, for the freezer.The girls did all the yard work as well as the laundry, ironing, cooking the meals, and shoveling the snow. For some reason, the boys had no household chores to do! We made the bread every Saturday morning, and did the general housecleaning then as well. We darned socks with a wooden egg as the base, and "darning cotton". I especially liked hunting, and even though I am a grandma now, I am still out there every fall. I taught both grand daughters to hand dip candles, grow a small garden space and harvest the vegetables. They gather eggs while here, and are learning to sew.
Some of the comments about today's youth are pretty harsh. First of all, this article is about FARMER'S children; this has nothing to do with urban or suburban children. It's comparing apples to oranges. Secondly, it is exactly because life on the farm was so difficult that parents wanted an easier life for their children. They wanted their children to get an education so they could have options other than farming, or other physically demanding labor.
So, if you need to blame anyone for today's soft, entitled, "snowflakes" look in the mirror. Today's youth didn't get this way in a vacuum. They are the result of decisions made by previous generations.
Apparently, there is still a great division between country and city folks. We need to value the farmer's old ways of hard work, self sufficiency, and caring for our neighbors, while also respecting the advancements that have been made, in many cases, by those who moved into the cities and got higher education.
Life is challenging enough without having to endure the judgement and denigration of others.
150 years ago is a long time. Things change. I've read these comments. Why are children in 2019 judged for not knowing how to do some of the things their great-great grandparents had to do? I'm a grandmother now myself but recall my parents, both children of farmers, worked hard all their lives. Both wanted their children to have lives better than theirs were. My father taught us to hunt & fish & forage before we were five. Mother taught us to cook, sew, clean and put up vegetables from the garden. But they wanted us to get a good education so we wouldn't have to work as hard as they did. My mother always said we should be able to play, enjoy childhood while we could, as we'd spend the rest of our adult lives working. From age six my mother worked her fingers to the bone, helping raise her nine younger siblings, helping work indoors and out. Never had the chance to go to school ( past 5th grade) in the 1930's. At age 95 she still regrets that she didn't finish school.
The values they taught my siblings and myself were to treat others the way we'd like to be treated. And to judge not, lest ye be judged. The world's changed a lot. Judging todays' children by standards of 150 yrs. ago isn't really helping anyone.
I agree, partially. A lot of the things kids used to do and what was expected of them was really great, and made them into more solid citizens. But along with knowing how to do those things it seems there was more innocence back then too. Kids now know a lot more about things they shouldn't from a young age, but it is not their fault. It is the fault of "progress" and growing up in the information age. I would love to at least see Home Ec taught in schools again, classes with real life skills, including some physical stuff too. Kids today don't have to work really hard physically like in days of old. In some ways it's awful but in other ways quite fortunate. Just tour any old graveyard and see the headstones of many children who died much too young. We always assume they died from illness, but I'm betting many of them died by having to work around heavy machinery or any other thing us "modern" folks would never let our young children around today.
Young kids need to learn to TEXT with both thumbs.
Early teens need to be able to do above while walking especially while crossing the street.
Mid to later teens need to be able to do above while driving a car.