Wednesday, 14 January 2015
Teaching 5 boys about housework
My children are individuals.
My children are messy.
My children are loud.
My children are none of those things because they are boys but because they are children.
And there should be no amazement attached to the fact that mine do housework because they are boys.
Every child should be doing these jobs.
Boys AND girls.
Because despite what mainstream media would have you believe.....
Boys CAN cook.
Boys CAN wash.
Boys CAN sweep.
Boys CAN vacuum.
Boys CAN do all these things just as well as girls.
If we let them.
There have been a few articles lately about preparing boys before they leave home with skills that they need for life away from the familial home.
At first I thought- Yeah, awesome!
Then I gave it a bit more thought and felt uneasy.
As uneasy as I do when I hear the "Boys will be boys" statement trotted out when young children of the male gender misbehave.
This isn't and shouldn't be about gender.
This is about doing the right thing.
About behaving well regardless of being female or male.
This should be about providing ALL of our children with the skills it takes to be independent.
It should also be about pitching in around the home that they live in and are cared for in.
It is certainly NOT about 'Making his wife happy'- this one I hear time & time again.
Actually I am not so presumptuous that my children will either a) marry or b) choose a girl as their partner.
And I am NOT teaching my children to do this to make someone else happy but because these are things they should JUST DO.
Some of the stuff in life that we do is not nice, it is not rewarding but I reckon we have a responsibility to do it.
My motivation is not entirely because I need help (although I am the first to admit I do!) but because I think it is important to raise our children with skills that allow them to be functioning independent individuals who are aware of their environment & their responsibilities.
If nothing else these holidays by working really hard on these things day to day I have realised JUST how much I do.
It's a crazy workload to keep on top of, which is why I don't.
I don't keep on top of it. At all.
This holidays have really also emphasised to my children how much I do and it has made it very clear to them as they fumble to try & find a clean pair of underpants, just why they CAN'T find any. There are NONE- because I simply can not keep up with the laundry.
We have implemented a new laundry system & we shall see how that works.
Each child has their own basket in their bathroom and the big three (16, 14 & 12) are now entirely in charge of their own laundry- of washing it, hanging it out & folding it and putting it away. No more blaming me when they can't find those underpants. It feels big for me. A load (literally) off of my shoulders. We'll see if it works in the long term.
And so as I nag day upon day to get them to do a little more, to be a little more aware, to pick up that cup they left with the assumption that 'someone else' was going to put it in the dishwasher, my hope is that by the end of the holidays and as we head into our busy school year, that they will take on a little more of being a community minded house-sharing type of person.
I already bring my children up with a very strong focus on being a responsible community minded person- that we have responsibilities beyond our home to be a thoughtful, kind member of society and that being kind is good in itself, not as a means to anything more. That we have a responsibility to others.
I like to think this starts in the home.
One who appreciates that all the things that happen in this house they share with 6 others don't just happen by magic. And that their behaviour within this environment affects every other person in it.
Although I have always so wished that I could just wiggle my nose à la Samantha from Bewitched and just have all that pesky housework done.........
Posted by GourmetGirlfriend