Essays on old age and responsibilities of children
The challenge comes in being willing to sacrifice a certain amount of efficiency and quality while they are learning. All my kids are good pancake flippers, they can all bake cookies from scratch without help, they all know how to pack their own lunches. Rather than fight with my oldest about her laundry being everywhere we got her a hamper and put her in charge of it herself.
The funniest thing about learning life skills is how the environment shapes that. When my niece is with us there are different skills we take for granted—like using a hanger. My brother was stunned to realize at age nine that his daughter had never used one because there were none on her height level in their apartment.
I love that our kids get to learn different skills from one another when they visit in different places. And I so agree with you about learning different skills while visiting different places. So, my parents got whole fish and my daughter who was either 2 or 4 then was totally fascinated and wanted to help. And my daughter had such a blast and was so proud of her contribution! Through the rest of the trip she helped us peel peas out of their pods, carry water in a little mug while we carried them in buckets , make chapatis flat rolled bread etc.
It was a very different experience and so much fun… and while I was more open to it during our vacation, as soon as we came back and life started moving at a million miles a minute again, I stopped involving her in the daily routine tasks… shame! Another thought — my elder sister was also visiting our parents during our India trip, and she thought it was perfectly normal for my mom to let my daughter help with the fish.
While growing up, I was the middle child among 3 girls, and both my sisters helped mom in the kitchen while I always found ways to slink out. I bet your daughter loved that. My niece goes to India regularly and recounts all kinds of interesting skills to my kids that are new to them.
They, in the meantime, introduce her to oddities such as watching TV and riding on bikes. The birth order thing does play a role. For instance, my oldest was primed for babysitting because she has younger siblings. My other two have never had that responsibility thrust on them the same way, so those will be harder skills for them to pick up.
So I got good a breakfasts, Arno became pretty good at dinner, and Barrett learned nothing because lunch was the freebie, and that pattern lasted for YEARS—well into adulthood. Thanks, Korinthia! Thank you for the lists Cara!
Caring for the Elderly Essays
Since my four littles are so close in age, I got into the habit of assembly-lining things early on. While this helps me greatly with time management, it leaves little room for the kids to participate in becoming self-sufficient. This is a hard one for this mama! I love the idea of assembly-lining, Brit! Maybe you can think of it as helping your kids learn to work cooperatively and raising awesome team players?
Wish I would have thought of an assembly line when our brood was young! Excellent article!
I think your basic point — about the benefits having kids do chores- is a good one. Thanks for sharing, Larry. Why should children be forced to get up early, rushed through getting ready, spend all day at school, spend more time at activities, come home to do homework, and have a ton of chores?
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When are they allowed to be children? I lived life just as you described it. They are only little once. Thanks for that perspective, Katie. Emotional support is also a balance — we parents are humans too. We have our ups and downs. For most of us, being perfectly supportive all the time is just not a possible realistic option. But, life is neither easy or simple. In every culture, kids contribute. Some would say that is good, but we might well find out it creates perma-children. Adults who never actually grow up. My daughter has been very responsible in taking care of her school work right from when she was in elementary school.
She is a senior now.
How to start shifting responsibility: yes, no and maybe
With my second child, my son, I started assigning chores at early. He is 13 now, he helps with mopping, vacuuming and sometime baking too. I agree, Vee.
Great article! All my friends at the time who already had kids, were always telling me stories of how their 4yr old learned a new language, or how they learned some other skill. Or how good they were at playing hockey at age 5, etc.. So I was realizing — that kids are literally like sponges. And they will soak up whatever information you give them. I decided when she was almost 2 — that I would kill 2 birds with one stone. So while I was teaching her how to count numbers, I also introduced money at the same time, by teaching her how to count pennies.
Home Responsibilities By Age
After she got familiar with pennies, I then introduced the other coins. By the time she was 2 — she could identify all the coins no problem! Because I honestly believe that the only limits our kids have — are the limits we put on them. Your kids are smarter than you give them credit for, and they can do more than what you think. Hold them to that higher standard, from the beginning, and they will grow up knowing that to be the norm. They even have play money which is very similar to the real money that they use for their counting and math, just as you mentioned! While I love this philosophy, and the results it has brought so far, I am also a little wary.
Kids at her school read at a very young age, their vocabulary is far broader than many other kids their age, their grasp of number concepts and grammar! But it is a bit of a double-edged sword… it can easily go from giving the sponge a lot to soak up, to giving it so much that there is no room to soak up anything else, anymore! But at her school they have a fixed curriculum and rules… so while a few kids thrive in this environment, some others start to struggle.
Sumitha — yours can come for Free! No cost at all. Is there really such a thing? Just keep everything in moderation. Kids are for ever changing and evolving. BTW, I love your gardening analogy. Please email me at your earliest conv. I would never have thought I would be looking at websites on parenting.
Which we are, but I think we both just put on a mask. Hi Brooks — sorry this comment is so late in coming.
From Childhood to Old Age
At 14, kids are pretty set in their ways. Explain to him that you need his help around the house and that it makes a difference. I also tell them that when they are on their own they can live however they want, but if when they are living here, I expect a certain standard.
I am 71 and all this is new to me I would like to hear anything back from other parents that have had to go through this same thing! Children learn what is expected of them at one house or another. I think that as long as you tell them consistently and this is exhausting for me at almost 50, so I can imagine it is even more so at 71!
They will learn so very much from you and even if they grumble, they will respect grandma.
Ask them for their help with love and expect them to respond. Think how awesome it would be if you have four little people helping you all you have to do! One last thought — be sure to thank them for the help. I know and you know they should do it because they are regular guests at your house and they should want to help their grandmother, besides, but a simple thank you goes a long way in acknowledging how much their help matters and how much they matter. My question to you is related to my son in law.
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From the time my grandson was 8 and is now 15, my son in law who is my grandsons stepfather, has been making my grandson clean up after the family dog. They have a Lab, quite large Lab! She has even tried to clean it up for my grandson as have I. However, if my son in law was to find out either of us did this, my grandson would get into more trouble and it causes my grandson to worry. Now, my daughter and my son in law are getting a divorce. Not because of this situation… My grandson has to live with my son in law while the divorce is moving forward because of legal matters.
My younger grandson who is 12 assisted him by hosing the vomit off the driveway and they both proceeded to do their assigned chores. The following day my older grandson told his father he will not clean the dog messes up again because it makes him so sick.