parenting

Children, Chores and Confidence

Children doing chores

As a child, I grew up in a joint family in a household with seven family members, three constant house-guests and visitors all the time. I used to have Thursdays and Sundays off from school, besides a half day on Saturdays. Each Thursday, from the time I was four, I would rearrange my little cupboard of clothes. I didn’t have much, but what I had, I kept neatly. I used to love watering the plants in our garden. I would enjoy helping with things in the kitchen, shelling peas, cleaning rice and other grains, rolling out the dough in weird shapes to make rotis, put away washed dishes, hang out little clothes to dry and help my aunt fetch things from the store room. I loved washing clothes and playing in the water.

During the weekends, my uncles would wash the floors with soap and I would enjoy helping them sponge down the doors and windows. Not sure how much I helped, but I certainly enjoyed participating, imitating and being complimented on a job well done. They encouraged me along, ever so gently.

Today, I believe everything is possible. Or put another way, nothing is impossible. I am confident.

My latest post over at Parentous is about the importance of chores for children to build their confidence and their sense of responsibility to make them independent. It also helps them develop compassion, teaching them valuable life-skills. It is all too easy to let them off the hook and do it all ourselves, but easing children into taking ownership for household chores – gently, lovingly pays off huge dividends. For one thing, it is great fun to have the whole family laughing and enjoying doing things together.  For another, it is such a relief to know that they can fend for themselves, because no one is indispensable.

I was actually going to write about developing immunity in children, but decided to write about developing responsibility, thanks to a conversation at a parents’ meeting the other day. I love these gatherings because there’s so much to learn and share – and give our guilt glands a rest. Even if we know that there is no such thing as a perfect parent, we can’t help trying. We don’t want anyone to point a finger at our children or find fault, even if we know there’s no such thing as a perfect child!

 

So the next best thing is to do our best – and one of the ways is making them responsible. The good news is, most children naturally want to be independent as toddlers as their natural curiosity motivates them to try things on their own. When they feel respected and competent, they become emotionally strong. As parents, it is not unnatural for us to coddle our kids, but we also have a duty to make them independent.

Please continue reading the post here: Children, Chores and Confidence

children, chores, confidence

Children, Chores and Confidence

Did you like the post? What are your views on chores for children?

 Featured image credit: Bubsyboo

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Terri Sonoda
    December 28, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    Heading over now to read your post! hugsss
    Terri Sonoda recently posted…Best.Christmas.EverMy Profile

  • Reply
    Keetha
    December 29, 2012 at 7:04 am

    I’m having so much fun picturing the little 4 year old you cleaning and organizing that little clothes closet!
    Keetha recently posted…Scrapin’ the Bottom of the Old Frag BarrelMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      December 30, 2012 at 1:53 pm

      Keetha, believe it or not, to this day, it is a big joke at home. They always tease me about how I would be busy for hours rearranging my clothes and books :D. You could call me a good girl. 😀 Really! Hugs!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Home – No Airline Tickets To Vacation Here!My Profile

  • Reply
    Tess The Bold Life
    December 31, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Vidya,
    My four girls worked with me in our 2 acre plot of land growing flowers and then selling them at the Farmers Market. Perhaps they did too much work as children. However today they are all thriving with well paying jobs. The value of children and chores…priceless!
    Tess The Bold Life recently posted…2013 A Magical JourneyMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      December 31, 2012 at 3:54 pm

      Hugs, Tess! I remember reading about it. You are right about the \”priceless\” part.

      In our family, all the children had age-appropriate tasks to do – without gender bias. Those of us who hung around the kitchen were incredibly lucky to be near my Grandmother, who had infinite patience, stories to tell and tips packaged in such a way – we would never forget for life. She also taught us to manage all sorts of things around the house – minor repairs, plumbing, building a wall, and of course, making everything from scratch. There was a point we made broomsticks and sold them – this involved ripping off the coconut tree leaves and shaving the leaf off the spine – each broomstick had close to three hundred sticks. 🙂 We enjoyed all that. Chores were fun. And we simply loved working in the garden.

      God bless you and your girls. You are a huge inspiration to me! Happy 2013!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Home – No Airline Tickets To Vacation Here!My Profile

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