One of our jobs as parents is to teach our children how to be responsible adults. That includes teaching them how to cook decent meals, do laundry without turning everything pink, showing them how to take care of their vehicles, teaching them about money, how to keep a clean home, and so much more.
Children are watching us all of the time and teaching them to clean up after themselves should just be part of our everyday life.
I didn’t get an allowance growing up because our family couldn’t afford it. We were expected to pitch in, clean up, and be part of a family. We couldn’t have a messy room. Everything had a place and was expected to be kept in its place. If something wasn’t put away, it might end up thrown away; and if you dared to stuff something in a drawer where it didn’t belong, you might come home from school with all of your dresser drawers dumped out in the middle of your floor. In fact, on Christmas morning after opening our presents the first thing we did was find a place for all of our new toys.
As long as my room was clean and all of my stuff was put away, I didn’t have to do a lot of housework at home because my mom made sure everything was done. She was a housewife, mom, and daycare provider and took the way her home looked very seriously. She was very particular about the way that things were, and often re-cleaned the things that we cleaned. I didn’t even wash dishes until I was in highschool, and that was because I wanted to. My mom use to tell me that she didn’t want help with the dishes because doing them relaxed her. I never understood that, until now. There is something about washing dishes with no one bothering me that really is, in an odd way, relaxing.
While I didn’t have a lot of housework to do at home, I did a lot for others. My mom used to clean my great grandpa’s house a few times a month and helped others as needed. I was expected to help. I learned so much from cleaning with my mom. Not only did I learn the correct way to clean, but I learned a good work ethic and family values. I learned to have a positive attitude and to do my best, and those are things I am passing on to my little girl. We stay with my grandma and take care of her because she has Alzheimer’s. Part of taking care of her is cleaning her home. Unfortunately, because of my injury, I can’t do a lot of things that I used to, so AJ is learning how to do so many things. We are still working on her positive attitude, but I hope when she grows up she will be thankful that she was made to clean. She will be thankful that she already knows how to do laundry, and that she knows how to keep a house clean.
There are so many different programs and ideas available to help parents get their kids to clean up after themselves. Some people say to do reward charts, others say to take things away. Some people give their kids allowance and base it on chores, some give an allowance and don’t base it on chores, and some don’t believe kids should get an allowance. There are so many systems for getting kids to do their chores that it can be overwhelming. No matter what you decide, do your child a favor and make sure they are learning the basic skills to become a successful adult.