Last year I visited a friend of mine over the weekend to catch up casually for dinner. Her daughter is the same age as my son. So we first let the kids have their food and we thought we will have once they are done. Both kids had food, my son kept his empty plate in the sink and then joined her daughter in playing. Not like I am praising my son, but that’s what he normally does at home, every day, after every meal. She noticed that and many other things. She called me on a weekday after we met, probably Tuesday or Wednesday.
I wasn’t comparing the two kids and I know she wasn’t doing that either, I know her very well. The telephonic conversation started with a normal know-how kind of chat and then took a turn towards parenting. Being of the around same age, how was my son being more responsible and independent than her daughter. Aren’t moms supposed to do these small things for kids?? To this, I said, “Dear, we are 2 different persons with their point of view. If you think you are doing it right, then you should not be bothered about what someone else is doing!”
But the discussion still kept going and I had my thoughts which I kept sharing, which eventually she was also convinced about. Thought of writing something about the same today!
I have come across 90% of women who opt to take a break in career after embracing motherhood. I am one of them as well. Even if the major reason for a career break is to take care of our babies, it does not mean we keep spoon-feeding them for years to come. There are several reasons we should start making them independent and teach them basic skills at an early age.
We may seek for toys and games to improve our kid’s hand and eye coordination, is there anything better than our domestic chores that would induce this skill in them? Sorting and arranging fresh veggies bought from the market helps them understand the difference between 2 veggies for real! Seeing pictures in books and touching and feeling them are two different things.
Most parents do not find time to spend with their kids. Either they are working or they are too much involved in domestic chores that they find time to spend with kids. In the case of working parents, involving kids can be beneficial in two ways:
1) they get to spend time with kids. Working with kids in the kitchen is no less than an experiment! While doing chores with them, the curiosity in them gets a new direction. The conversation happening while doing chores lets us know their line of thoughts.
2) a kid becoming independent at an early age is half the worry! If you are stuck in the office and it rains heavily, they will be smart enough to remove clothes from the balcony to save them from wetting. If there is some important project and your meetings are extended, they will be able to do basic cooking to feed themselves! Although it may be as simple as cooking a packet of instant noodles they won’t be starving. For non-working parents/mom like me, we both (me and my son!) complete the chores together, and then his playtime with me increases.
Doing one task successfully, all by themselves, gives them confidence, a sense of achievement! To top it if they get an appreciation after doing something, they also feel special and valued. Usually, when we go to the local grocery store, I let him buy stuff and do cash transactions. He meanwhile keeps doing his math of adding the total of stuff bought and subtracting it from the total money he has in hand! I keep a watch to see if it’s being done correctly. These are small things, that no institution or book will be able to teach them. And hence it’s our responsibility to make them ready.
During these covid times, when everyone was home, there was no domestic help, I am sure the end of the day each one of us would be tired. If kids themselves turn up to help without asking for it, there is nothing like it. This shows they are helpful, they value what we do for them, and hence they also wish to contribute their little share in whatever we do! This behavior does not come up in one day. It only comes with practice.
With this article, I only intend to make parents aware of the fact that they can start involving their kids more in domestic chores and other daily activities. You should also be a part of theirs. We usually make their lives ours, but once they enter teens they start feeling it as interference. But if you make them realize that they are a part of your lives too, and you can strike the balance then it will be a very healthy way of parenting!
About the author:
Nilshree Atish Yelulkar is an engineer by qualification and now a homemaker and a mother who discovered her passion for writing!
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