Recently I read an article entitled “Spoiled Rotten.” It was a great article that I sent to all my married children. Now whether or not they read it…or took it seriously, I don’t know…all I know is that I have had all nine of our grandchildren, aged 4 months to 7 years, spending the week with me, and it’s been an interesting contrast as three families have been under one roof.
Let me preface what I’m about to write with the declaration that I dearly love all my sons, daughters and grandchildren. My grandchildren are all well taken care of, and I so appreciate the fact that my daughters are all devoted to their children. That said, mothers show their love in different ways. One of my daughters is a nurturer. She’s soft spoken and doesn’t demand much from her children. Her children know they are loved, but they have not been taught how to give and help lighten the load that she carries as mother to three young children. Another daughter is also a nurturer, but she has taught her four children the importance of helping with family responsibilities. The contrast is stark! The ages of these grandchildren are basically the same, and yet while the children of one family pitches in to help clean up toys, empty the dishwasher, vacuum the carpets, and help with dinner preparation, the first family’s children don’t see the need, nor do they offer to help. They are sweet children…they simply have not been taught the value of work.
This blog is sent to all young mothers who may read this entry. Please, please teach your children while they are young the joy and accomplishment that accompanies work. Three and four year olds can dust, empty parts of the dishwasher, pick up their toys, make their beds (maybe not to perfection…but they can pull their sheets and covers up), empty small trash cans, and even vacuum. Chores need to be an every day responsibility so that they get “in the groove” of service and dependability.
Five, six and seven year olds should do all of the above, plus empty dishwashers, load dishwashers, help with meal preparation, wash windows, shake rugs, clean bathrooms, and help with yard work…weeding, and sweeping.
I hope that mothers understand the importance of working along side of their children. Children are more prone to enjoy the work if, at first, they are working along side siblings and/or parents. It takes time and effort, but you will be giving your children a much needed advantage to help them become responsible, happy, productive adults.