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Chores disrupt schedules, grow responsibility

Whether splashing soapy suds onto dirty dishes or pulling unruly weeds from the earth, the hassle of chores give many teens additional responsibilities besides homework and jobs.

Though many teens complete a list of chores each week, some sneak their way out of them. Freshman Abel Carreon avoids chores while at his dad’s house due to the fact he has none.

“At my dad’s house I don’t have to clean because he does everything for me,” Carreon said. “He cleans my room, does the dishes and vacuums. At my mom’s I have to do everything. She works long hours at Kaiser Permanente, so I have to help out.”

Though Carreon has no responsibilities at his dad’s house, Matthew Stumph, ’10, completes chores while staying with his dad, even when the tasks get messy.

“I have to do chores at both my mom and dad’s house but my dad lives in the foothills, so during the winter it’s my job to bring wood from the woodpile up to the house,” Stumph said. “It’s difficult because it gets muddy, and the truck tires get stuck.”

As teens mature, some parents feel giving them responsibilities prepares them for life as adults. Sharon Scharf, parent and home ec teacher, believes chores readies kids for the future.

“I believe chores help kids learn responsibility and how to run their own house when they grow up,” Scharf said. “When my kids were in 4-H, their jobs were to feed and water the sheep everyday. Around the house they took turns clearing the table. Now that they are married, they know the importance of keeping their homes orderly.”

Sometimes grandparents, uncles and aunts assign chores to teens. Becky Nguyen, ’09, lives with her aunt and uncle and receives responsibilities from them.

“In the Asian culture, it’s proper to respect older people and do what they say, when they say it,” Nguyen said. “One cold day I was sick, and my aunt still wanted me to water the plants outside. I asked if I could do it the next day when I was feeling better, and she said that was fine. Later though, she ended up telling my uncle, and they thought I was being disrespectful.”

Though daily chores at home are not a fun way to spend the weekend, the paycheck at the end of the month serves to motivate students.

“My mom pays me $10 every week I work,” Stumph said. “I use the money to pay for World of Warcraft , an online video game that I really enjoy.”

While some students think positively about chores, others believe it disrupts their childhood and social life.

“I hate doing chores because it’s so boring and takes away my free time and interrupts my social life,” Carreon said. “It helps getting paid but I don’t like doing chores at all.”

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