Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie posted today about teaching our children responsibility. She has some great links to some fantastic articles on how we are not to become our children's slaves and how we ought to be teaching them.
An excerpt from one of those links:
"Our children, on the other hand, live a very self-centred existence. From the moment they're born, our lives revolve around them, rather than the other way around. We take them to play dates, put them in kindergym and kindermusic, and then they go to school where they learn all about self-esteem.
As parents, we need to start getting back to the idea that children need responsibilities. Their lives should not revolve around entertainment. I think kids who do have responsibility and learn to care for the home actually end up less depressed and less rebellious because they are less self-focused. So our kids do a lot of chores. And we expect them to volunteer at church and with caring for younger kids. What about you? What do you think?"
Stew and I were just talking about how we seem to get little accomplished and one of the reasons may be that we are focusing too much on entertaining the children instead of teaching them responsibility along side of us. So, today I took some action steps toward switching our normal routine. I've had a chore chart made up for Emily for weeks now that I just haven't implemented yet and so I'm making Monday the day. This morning after breakfast I took out Emily's bible books and we had bible time together to start out the day.
This afternoon I had her wash the dishes with me for the first time.
We also did a 15 minute clean up together which she LOVED. She thought it was so much fun to run around the house and put away as much as we could before the timer went off. When I had to get lunch ready she sat down and worked on her letters and numbers. She wrote her name all by herself!
Then after lunch we played for a little bit and I found I was SO much more into it because I felt like the house was taken care of so I could devote all my thought to her. AND there was NO TV! Dare I say we may be on to a new schedule here! I used to feel really guilty when I chose to clean the house instead of play ALL morning with her because she would just lay on the floor or cling at my feet and beg for me to play with her. So sometimes I would just pop a video in to get some tasks done, but that left her feeling excluded and then we dealt with the whines for the rest of the day. I had no idea that if I just included her in every thing that I do that she would really enjoy it. I always felt like I'd be asking too much of her. I had tried a few little jobs here or there, but never included her in all my tasks. So, my new goal is to try and include her in all my tasks even if it's in the smallest way (or takes an extra 20 minutes like the dishes did this morning, lol). What a difference today has been!