I cannot stress how important it is to encourage and nurture our children to contribute and see everyone in their family contribute to the overall running of their household. This goes far beyond a chore list, it’s core is in belonging and a sense of being a part of a community, something more than themselves.
As a parent, you may love doing things for your child, however having awareness around developing strong, independent and capable young people needs to be the goal.
A parents ultimate role is to make themselves redundant, nurturing our children to be confident, kind and thoughtful humans who are able to consider the needs of others. When we step back, we create the space for our children to step up.
The first step is to encourage our children to take responsibility for themselves. Their morning routine is a great place to start. Some helpful suggestions are to set three alarms on their device or alarm clock, the first is to wake up, the second is to let them know that there is 10-15 minutes to go before they need to leave for school and the third alarm is to let them know they need to leave NOW!
Creating opportunities for them to make their own breakfast and provide simple lunch options so that they can make their own lunch in the morning. I have found that children go for the easy options, so make it easy to make the healthy choice. We all know that as parents, if we pack food our children don’t like they don’t eat it. At least if they choose it themselves, they will eat it.
When establishing an effective morning routine, be in the background observing their processes and their habits. Toothbrushing is a classic, it may be beneficial to keep an eye on their technique as children need reminding sometimes.
Lists may be helpful. I have a friend who has a family chore list and a personal list that includes the school routine to remind them if they forget.
Monkey see monkey do or child see child do. Remember as a parent you are training your young person to be a member of our society and to potentially become someone’s partner. That being the case, what kind of partner do you want your child to become?
In my household, I am very capable of doing all or most things. If I have the time I clean and tidy because it is important to me. However, I have a young 9 year old to consider. We are currently implementing a very solid morning routine and it is working well. He is becoming more independent and capable and understands that he needs to contribute to our household.
Device time is not a given, it is earned. He folds his own washing and hangs it out (with assistance), he helps with the dishes, he even cleaned the toilet with his father the other day. His room is a work in progress and he is slowly learning to take more care with his things.
This is my second round of parenting. My Daughter and Son are awesome people, they are kind and considerate people and my wish is that my Step-Son has the foundations to be all that he can be, with all the practical skills he needs to thrive.
For us, life in general is chaotic and busy, however we are doing our very best, like many other parents to raise a child to be a happy, loving and thoughtful person who is self motivated and confident.