I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what kind of adults I’m raising.
Well, when I say “lately,” I mean the past seven and a half years, really. Yes, at some point, while I was pregnant with Joey, I started thinking about who she was going to be when she grew up.
The kid wasn’t even out of me and I already had her in the White House, people.
My most recent mental meanderings, though, are a little more practical. I’ve been reading Cleaning House: A Mom’s Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement and it’s got me worried about my kids.
I am not raising productive members of society.
Everything is done for my kids, either by me, their father, or (most often) my amazing mother. Who did everything for me, too. Which explains why it took me a good eight years or so to figure out how to clean an oven. (And even then, it was with copious amounts of Google.)
My kids are seven and four. They’re not going to be cooking dinner any time soon. But, I do want to set up some responsibilities for them.
And it’s not because I’m sick of cleaning up their shit.
Okay, it’s not JUST because I’m sick of cleaning up their shit.
I want them to have the sense of pride that only comes from a job well done. I want them to understand the amount of work that goes into taking care of a house and family. I want them to work together towards common goals.
I want them to grow up to be mature, responsible adults, who do not have that amazingly annoying sense of entitlement that so many kids nowadays seem to have.
The world owes you nothing, kids. You have to work for it. All of it. Any of it.
Over the next week or so, my husband and I are going to be working on our plan to ban entitlement from our home. I’m hoping to start, with baby steps, in July.
How about you? Sick of your kids expecting everything to be done for them? Good. So am I. Let’s work together to make sure our kids feel valuable and capable.
I’m giving you homework.
Have a real discussion, with your partner or with yourself, as applicable, about what responsibilities your kids have, and about what responsibilities they probably should have.
Write down what you’d ultimately like your kids to be handling around the house, keeping in mind this isn’t (just) about lessening the adult work load, but also about teaching your children important life skills.
Meet me back here on Thursday morning and we’ll take the next steps together.
Optional “extra credit” (you’ll laugh your tail off about that if you read the book): Go get the book and give it a perusal. Barring that, check out Kay’s blog, The MOAT Blog, for ideas and inspiration.
See you on Thursday (list in hand)!