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If you complete your chores, I’ll complete mine

My topic I’m sure, is making you think who is the “You” I’m referring to. No people I’m not talking about the husbands here..  The “you” in my topic today are “children” and I use this statement for my child many times. 

How important do you think is teaching our children house chores is? 

My answer “Very Important!”

To tell you the truth I have learnt the importance of doing chores the hard way! I understand it’s important to let our kids be kids and to let them enjoy their childhood but it is also important to prepare them such that they can enjoy the adulthood that they are going to enter in future! 

In today’s world we no doubt are talking about preparing the boy to be a help around the house and not being a burden to his wife but, I have noticed that the same plate is being decorated for both genders. Children of both genders are pampered and taught or rather it’s drilled in their heads that the only work they have is, to do their studies while the rest can be learnt later.  Well I’m not at all sorry to give you this wakeup call and say that all the parents who think on these lines are “Wrong!” Imbibing habits begins and must begin very early in life.  Only then does it stay forever. People refer to teaching house chores as a training and not a value.  It’s strange to see such wrong doings especially when, most, that I’m referring to are the people of good educational backgrounds.

This imbibing method of doing house chores is a personal tried & tested study for me and I’m sharing it with pride.  My daughter is 7yrs old and is well aware of her chores at home.  Her instructional design for these began when she was 5yrs and slowly I began increasing the number or the difficulty level of her work.  I must add that even as a toddler I interacted with her as a young adult and never gave her a hand immediately for everything!  For example, if she was trying to wear her shoes and was struggling, I’d try not to be at an immediate help distance.  I’d help only if I was asked to by her (after her best attempt). My behavior started making her independent at least for few of her personal activities.  This parenting pattern was certified when I found her dressing up by herself for most of her simple outfits and getting ready for school by the time, she was only 5.5yrs. 

So now that she is 7 things are very different.  She has a list of her own chores to be done every day which has been hand written by her and pinned up on her cupboard.  The list includes work like – filling up the bottles of water, cleaning her room, keeping all shoes in the shoe closet, keeping her wash folded clothes in her cupboard etc.  To many parents all this seems to be a burden on their children but the truth here is somewhat different! Parents need to realize that along with education our children are also going to have their own individual lives that will include living by themselves and to push past the social difficulties. Managing home chores is like managing a business where every employee is important, as each has a role to play and only when all complete their roles can the result be appreciated and enjoyed.  Why I feel so strongly about this is because I really learnt this the hard way! I’m not saying my parents taught me wrong but they did what they thought was their way of right parenting. What happens as a parent is, you feel that I will never let my child go through what I went through! In this we forget that we are who we are because of what “we went through”. I’m not saying you let your child go through the turmoils you must have been through but rather you pick the right way to teach what is important and will get them through the race called life! 

This is why I tell my child “This house is ours not just mine! So, if you complete your chores, I’ll complete mine too!” and let me tell you once or twice when she became too lazy or took me for granted, I had to show her in the most subtle way how to make the above statement a serious state of affairs at home! I had to be stern and put my foot down at times when I had to teach her how important it is to keep up to your promise and that it’s difficult to do these same chores every day. This was to make her see that making rules is easy and breaking them is even easier, but the most difficult part is to be dedicated to it!

I’m teaching her this because I came into the light very late and I’m struggling even now but, seeing her learn is making me keep up to my promise too!  The most amazing part of this format of parenting is that there are so many aspects that a child learns and will unknowingly use it in everyday life. For example, time management, sorting a priority list, doing a bit extra where required for self or even others! I often have conversations with parents about how my child’s work list includes taking care of my pet dog. I believe pets are the best motivation for teaching children responsibilities. They become an integral part of learning values like compassion, care and gratitude. If I may add… It’s my daughter’s duty to give him food and water every day.  In this process she has to keep a track of his food packet availability. So, when the food is about to finish, she has to give me a reminder.  The learning in this is that, she can’t be ignorant of his requirements and has to make sure the reminder comes to me at least 2 meals before the box is empty.  To explain the importance of this I gave her an example by showing her how I work to make sure she gets her regular meals.  

The main aim in this journey is to make your child understand the different kinds of faces “caring for someone ” can have.  It makes them learn the value of taking care of a life with love and compassion.  

It’s not just academic achievement that your child requires, it’s the achievement of being prepared for the much bigger and an interestingly difficult chapter called “Life” Coz even Life will say the same thing “If you complete your chores, I’ll complete mine! “

Happy Parenting!

Ruhi Thakkar



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