Whether we want to admit it or not, we are living in a generation of excess. I have talked to many fellow parents about the slippery slope of overindulging our kids and the concern is unanimous.
I grew up with chores. Whether it was washing the dishes, making my bed, feeding the dogs or pulling weeds out of my father’s hundred acres of sugar beet fields, things were clearly expected of me. It was the dynamic of our family and I never questioned it. I may not have liked it, because my simple chores were hard work, but it’s just what we all did. The truth is that those chores helped me build confidence in myself. They taught me how to wrangle hard work and persevere through it. Working also taught me that I am capable of so many things, equal to my brothers and my Father. Sadly, these “chores” are a thing of the past in many families. It’s almost as if we feel badly asking our kids to help, or we don’t want to deal with their opposition. The question we should all be asking ourselves is, “are we doing our kids a disservice when we do not ask them to share in responsibilities?”
I am surely guilty of this.
I know for our family, the focus has been about wanting the kids to focus on school and any extracurricular activities they have without distraction. Meanwhile school and activities were something I did in addition to my house work, and I lived btw. As my kids have gotten older, I have realized that when I ask them to help me with any household chores they look at me like I am speaking a different language. Oh boy…major parental fail ! I know with certainty that it is perfectly normal for kids to take out the trash, wash dishes, and make their beds. Sadly, my kids have been completely catered to in these areas, that are absolutely inherent to being independent adults, which by the way, I very much want them to be ! I know I am late to the chore game, but I am determined to make some major changes.
As my oldest daughter prepares to leave for college, I fully recognize that she will have to to do her own laundry. It’s embarrassing that I am starting here with her, but so be it. Adulting 101, the cliff notes version, is in full swing in my house. I may be late to the game, but I am determined.