Today we cooked our first rhubarb of the season. I harvested stalks from our two plants and then supplied my older son with a butter knife and chopping board. After a brief demonstration, he cut up nearly all of the stalks. He’s at the age where he’s pleased to be able to help. Because we live in the city, our boys won’t have as many chores as I did growing up on a farm, but I make it a point to assign age-appropriate household tasks so they learn from a young age how to handle responsibility. It also helps them to feel like important members of the family.
One theory is that if a child is old enough to walk, he or she is old enough to start taking responsibility. Both of my boys help around the house, but it may take a few more years to get to the point of a regular chore schedule, I think. At what age do you think children should have regular chores?
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A little bit more about rhubarb:
Rhubarb and spring are closely associated in my mind. When I was growing up, we had prolific rhubarb plants and cooked our fill of the stalks each year. Also known as pie plant, rhubarb is a cool season perennial vegetable with a unique tangy taste. It is said to originate from the Far East. It grows in Mongolia, I’ve seen, where it is used primarily for medicinal purposes. It has been grown for culinary use in the U.S., Canada and Britain since the 1800s, according to Ohio State University.