An Amazing Thing Happened on the Road of Parenting

Since J was a toddler, I've been striving to teach our children to be useful, cheerful helpers around the house. These five and a half years, I've often felt outnumbered and overwhelmed--and sometimes it just seems so much easier to DO IT MYSELF. But wise women have counseled again and again the importance of teaching and training our children to be useful cheerful workers and so we have worked and worked on cleaning our rooms and helping and doing whatever we ask the kids to do. Mr. J can just about clean his room by himself, and Miss A is almost there with me pointing out missed items.

It is neat to see the joy and pride our kids have in doing a job and being helpers, but this past week, an incredible thing happened that REALLY encouraged me and helped me see some light at the end of the tunnel.

All of our Disney laundry was washed and in baskets in the hallway. I gave J and A baskets and told them to grab their own things out of the pile, while I worked on our clothes, O's clothes and towels. They each filled a basket full, then I said, "Okay, now put your clothes away." AND THEY PUT ALL THEIR OWN CLOTHES AWAY!!

This was hugely encouraging as putting away laundry is my bane. Now instead of one person tackling laundry for five, it's one against three and that is WAY easier. I'm so proud of J and A.

Like Mother Like Daughter is a great resource and encouragement in this area. Here is a recent article along those lines. All her practical advice is so helpful! Below is an example:

Auntie Leila, you think children should be miserable?

Well, here's the thing.

Children just do spend a certain amount of time being miserable. You might as well have their misery be about something real. For instance, it's far better for a child to feel a little hungry while he finishes putting the clothes in the dryer or moves the woodpile a foot to the left than to grumble because you forgot to buy him the newest version of his favorite video game. The first problem will result at least in his sense of accomplishing something, followed by a meal that he's more likely to appreciate. The second will result in feeding the lazy, disrespectful beast within. Very few things are worse for a child than feeling justified in a grudge against the world, embodied in his parents.

1 comment:

guitta chaiban hogue said...

how wonderful!! david and i often bask in the idea of our dishes being washed, lawn being mowed, and yes-laundry put away by our growing younguns'! It is a good thing to have your kids contribute to the family's work! I think it brings a feeling of belonging, as well as the sense of accomplishment. It DOES take a lot of determination and vision from the parents, though. *sigh* Most good things do, I suppose. :)