It’s not for the reason you think.
It’s summertime!!! Time for afternoons at the pool, lazy mornings and movie-night sleepovers. My own boys cannot stop with the countdown (only one and a half more days of school!!), while I have my own reasons for looking forward to our days together.
For one thing…my house is about to get a lot cleaner.
We have had our moments over the last several years of enforcing chores at home. I’ve been determined to make this work, instilling a respect for money and hard work I see lacking in so many of our youth today (Yes!!! I totally admit to my contribution to this enabling society!). I had a friend who was so good teaching her child this, she had her seven year old putting his money into three different pots in a matter of weeks. One for saving, one for spending and one for sharing.
For me??? It’s a push-and-pull constant battle. Not to mention I can’t ever keep track of what I ask my kids to do. I bought a nifty chore chart on Amazon for my preschooler…you know with the magnet smiley faces?
He likes to line them up and knock them onto the floor.
And for my elementary aged kids I have a cool refrigerator magnet chore chart (also from Amazon), complete with 5 chalk colored markers to fill in their daily duties.
But I was putting the dishes away with my ten-year old the other night and I had an epiphany. It’s not really for the cleaner house, or for the responsibility we are teaching our kids that we need to “force” them do chores (althought that is a definite perk). It is for our own personal renewal and reinforcement of the relationship we have with our kids.
To explain… I realized, while drying the dishes with one of my three children, we had a perfect moment to talk without the distraction of siblings, TV, or the hustle and bustle of every day life to get in the way. It was just the two of us, and we were able to talk easily while also getting to know each other’s rhythm and synchonizing to it to get the job done. I was grateful for this moment of awareness that allowed me to see, in a much larger picture, exactly what I can gain from working with my kids, and not just expect from them.
We had regained a tremendous gift from the action of working together for a common purpose. While my son may argue it was a “chore” he was forced into, I can see where persuing this with each of my children on a regular basis will bear fruit to a lost art in the culture of parenting today.
When we spend so much time doing for our children, we forget to allow them the opportunity to do for themselves. Allowing them to feel a sense of accomplishment, belonging and self-worth; a rare gift we are able to arm them with to battle a very separate and ego-centric world they face every day.
Not only that, when we engage with them, we regain a sense of belonging and cooperation that is so sorely missing in the family dynamics of American culture. Just taking a few moments to engage with your child for the greater good of the family, brings you together in ways no money could ever buy you.
So while I definitely plan to take advantage of late night movies and pancake breakfasts at 10 am, you can bet I will be getting those boys to help scrape the maple syrup off the floor.
And when they complain, I will just tell them it is for their highest good.
They don’t have to know it’s for mine too.
psst!!! Summer is here!!
Learning opportunities are in full bloom with this Summer-themed word search. Kids will have lots of fun hunting for words while they reinforce their spelling, vocabulary and word recognition skills. Even more fun learning resources are just a click away at Education.com!