Lazy Parenting Hack - CHORES
I was asked about chores and teens....many of you may be wondering if they can even go together 😉
In our house they do. I do not know all the answers but I do know that I began to foster the idea around pulling your weight and being a contributing member of our family early on...like preschool early...
Having a big family has made this a necessity in our house. When the kids were young there was just no way I could do it all and remain sane. Whether it was getting me something I asked for, putting something away, getting themselves dressed, learning to get their own snacks, make their own breakfast & lunches to now doing their own laundry, making dinner, putting groceries away, etc it gets done.
This is because we have a rule in our house...when mom asks for something to be done, it gets done, no questions asked. If they can’t do it at that moment they can politely let me know they will do it very shortly. I will ALWAYS point out that by them expecting me to clean up after them (which is what they are telling me by leaving dishes out, clothes lying around etc), they are being disrespectful and showing me they don’t care about me. When they don’t offer to bring the groceries in or put them away, they are not showing kindness and love. My inner feminist comes roaring out loud and strong when people (cough cough kids and DH) assume it’s MY JOB to clean up after them. I do not believe it is. You may disagree with me but I vehemently oppose the idea that these things are MY JOB or are to be EXPECTED of me. And don’t get me wrong...I still do the majority of the daily tidying/cleaning/work around the house <read to the end!> and when I am away, it is felt by all BUT...I try very hard to ensure the load is shared among all of us.
As with most of of what I talk about, the ideas of chores grew over time. I have never used them as threats or punishments, I have never entertained the idea of paying for them. It truly is based on the idea that we are a family and each and every person in it is VITAL to the proper running of the household. That each of us must show care and kindness to each other and CHORES are one way that we do that.
REALITY CHECK - as I write this by the fire before heading to bed, I can guarantee you that there will be dishes in the sink for me to load into the dishwasher and turn on, that there will be random socks strewn around the house, basketball shoes on tables or counters <see pic>, newspapers that haven’t been put in the recycling, litter boxes that need to be emptied, swim bags and jackets that need to be picked up and many pairs of shoes needing to be put away in the closet. Robot children who automatically do these things would be great but sadly they DO NOT exist in my reality. HOWEVER, children and teens who take care of these things when asked and reminded to do so DO. And I believe they can for you too. Xoxo