Often I have seen parents NOT letting their children do any work at all at home..or grandparents telling the parents NOT to make the little kids work etc etc
I have often been accused of child labour..yes, in my previous company, a friend actually told me that I could go to jail for child labour because I asked my then 2 year old to pick up her glass and keep it in the kitchen sink..
Poor Baby she went.
Well, honestly, when I was a kid, I would be very enthused about helping Amma, and then when I got to my early teens, I would crib every time she asked me to help her but by the time I was in college, I realised that Amma was pretty much a super human managing kids, school, house, with Appa away on tours, all by herself, and the urge to help her came to me automatically.
I think its good to let kids do somethings for you at home.
1. IT makes life easier for you (most times, unless there is a spill or breakage)
2. They learn to understand that the house is theirs as well
3. They learn to do things on their own!
While Amma tells me that R’s enthusiasm to help will fade away soon as she grows older, I am trying to make the most of it.
For example, yesterday, when RD was hanging the clothes out, and I was washing the patrams in the sink, I called out to R to clean the table after dinner. She didnt respond immediately saying ‘Amma maine busy hoon’
What are you busy with?
I am colouring
Please da, just get the spoon for me to wash and clean up the table please
Okay amma and she promptly came with the used spoon for me to wash, took the washcloth from me and cleaned the table, and even did a decent job with it.
I went to the dinning table after my work and praised her efforts and she sure seemed very happy with it.
Similarly, today morning, while I was applying a band aid to my cut foot, I had kept the milk patram and curd patram on the shelf and asked her (she was wearing her shoes then) if she could set the curd. She said ‘Wait Amma, I will do, you put band aid’
and she went to the kitchen alone, hopefully put some curd into the milk (I hope she knows that after so many months of practice) and then came to me to the bedroom to ask me which of the plates covered the milk and which one covered the curd. She even kept the curd back into the fridge without spilling.
All the while, I was in the bedroom getting ready to work!
While RD does tell me that may be R is a bit too independent, most times, I think the way I let her manage some of her stuff, as well as mine, does work.
I am not saying R is ready to do it all the time.
Aap karo na Amma, sab time maine kyun karu!
Main edkum tired hoon!
Mereko bore thai che!
These lines are pretty common, but most times, if I insist and request politely, she does make an effort and help me out.
As long as the work you give is age appropriate, I think we should let our kids help us out.
Things that I let R do include
1. Set the curd
2. Take stuff to the dinner table as long as its not hot or filled to the brim
3. Take her own food from the patrams
4. Clean up the table after dinner
5. Pour groceries into the dabbas once we come back after grocery shopping..for example, rice, dals, etc she can put into the dabbas…I put a big plate underneath, so that the spills are taken care of
6. Pod peas, tuver etc when she is in mood
7. Fold her clothes if she in mood
8. Hang the clothes inside the house if she in mood
9. Separate veggies and keep the potatoes and onions in the stand
10. Open the fridge and take out something that is non spillable like butter, cheese etc
11. Mix the idli dosa batter, though it gets a bit messy
12. Make small rotis when she is in mood, though it has happened only 7-8 times
Ensure we eat those rotis as well 🙂
13. Take food to guests, etc if its non spillable
14. Wash the vegetables in tap water, when I am supervising
You get the drift right?
Its not that she is always keen to help out, but I do insist on some chores like taking her dabba/water bottle out of the bag, uniform out of the bag once she comes back from day care..
Little things, but she enjoys doing them most times. I think its important of course, to praise their efforts..for R at least, it works wonders and she is ready to do more 🙂
I have heard arguments on how once kids grow up they have to manage by themselves, so why spoil their childhood by making them do household chores..but honestly, I dont buy that argument. I feel its better to let kids know right from the start, that they do need to work in a house and there are some enjoyable chores and some boring ones too…I think its important that in a household, everyone strives to keep it clean, and it should not just be the work of the lady of the house.
The earlier the kids learn to help, better it is for the entire house 🙂
Do you agree?