Children, Chores and Confidence
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
Did you like the post? What are your views on chores for children?
Featured image credit: Bubsyboo