Teach a Child to Fish
In one of my recent posts where I confessed how much I dislike (okay HATE) the perils of cooking, I got a tremendous amount of support from other moms who also hate certain things about motherhood. (Thanks guys!)
But one response from a Planning Family reader has sparked today’s posting, and I think the message is momspirationally great!
We have all heard the phrase, bring a man a fish – he eats for a day, teach a man to fish – he eats for a lifetime.
The same mentality is awfully true for our children. While it definitely IS a part of motherhood (parenthood) to clean up messes, do chores, cook, wash clothes, and the hundreds of other things it takes to provide for a family – it is also a part of parenthood to ensure that our children grow up and are able to take care of themselves.
It is also important that they see us, their moms and dads, as people who deserve respect, recognition, and assistance. Just like we MUST be able to see them, our kiddos, as capable and responsible.
In order for a child to feel like they are part of the family, they MUST have familial duties. In order for our children to learn how to live cleanly, safely, and respectfully – they must be expected to live this way in our homes.
Translation…no more running around throwing blocks back in the toy box for the hundredth time today. No more finding dirty socks. No more picking up their plate after they leave the table. No more of mom doing everything, while the kids do nothing. Not only will this make our lives a little bit easier, but it also enhances our children’s lives by teaching them "life sustaining" skills.
Listen, I honestly know people who have grown up into adulthood and have never learned to cook, wash clothes, or keep a house. And in every case, it wasn’t because they were not capable of doing so; it was because they never had to and because their mama’s fish-bowled them and kept them IN NEED OF HER by being the sole provider of everything. B.I.G. M.I.S.T.A.K.E.
Jeannie wrote a great article about how age appropriate chores are great for development!
And the truth is that very young children, from the age of 2ish and up, can take responsibility and pull their weight in the home. By the time a child is in elementary school, they SHOULD have chores, and most importantly, they SHOULD BE EXPECTED to do them! This will help you out and ensure they are adept when they grow up and leave the nest.
So take a load off! Start delegating a little more to your children. Sure, they might not do things just the way you like it, and it may be a bit of work in the beginning – but eventually it truly will make your life easier.
Really, be sure that you don’t cling so tightly to your role as mother (parent) that you forget how important it is to teach your child to fish.