“Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you feed him a lifetime.”
Many parents feel that their young toddlers and up are not able to handle doing the small things in life, so they do it for them. I’ve got one child that currently is going on 8 years old, and he still can’t do a lot of the things that my four year old can already do. I made sure to teach my four year old as soon as I felt he was capable of doing those things. My eight year old was not raised by me, and I had very little influence in his life until this past June. When I put my foot down and clearly stated, if you want me to adopt him legally, then let me raise him my way!! My way, like all parents, is different than how he was being raised.
I push my kids to be as independent as they can be. I teach them everyday tasks, like brushing their teeth, tying their shoes, washing their hair completely, and even how to do small chores around the house. (I make cleaning house fun because I turn it into a game. I learned that trick when I was a single mother because I couldn’t do it all by myself! Plus the way I figured it, she was going to need to know how do whatever I showed her one day regardless.) I got a lot of heat from other parents about it because they felt it was making her grow up to soon.
Kids are naturally curious and they want to learn as much as you will let them learn. When they are young, they are eager to get in there and help out Mommy and Daddy or whoever else will let them. Now the older a child gets, the less they want to help out and the less they actually view normal everyday tasks as fun and entertaining stuff to do. My oldest child was spoiled rotten and never made to do anything around the house.
So now when it’s time to do things around the house, he gets upset and views it as punishment. My youngest views it as something to do, and a great way to help me out. He knows that he’s being a big huge helper and making my life and his a lot easier. Plus he also knows the sooner the chores get done the more time we have to play!! I wish my oldest had learned to appreciate how much fun and valuable his assistance on the little things is.
I don’t ask them to clean the house while I sit on my tail end. I don’t even ask them to do more than one chore a day. I do push that they put their own toys away. They help with changing clothes from washer to dryer and empty the dryer out, run the vacuum,dust, load a dishwasher, and attempt to make their beds. I don’t make them scrub the bathroom or scrub dishes, or any hard labor.
The point I’m trying to make is that we only hinder our kids abilities to enjoy having to do the required tasks in life if we make them believe it’s a burden early in life. Plus the older a child becomes the harder it is to teach them the simple things in life…Not to mention, if they don’t learn it from you, then how are they expected to do it when they are older.
Let your kids fly and become independent early in life. Not only will they benefit, but you do as well. Trust me when I say, the little things add up, and you get a lot more time with them!! Plus they gain from feeling needed, appreciated, and learning new skills.