My husband and I have been changing the responsibilities of our children. He thinks I am too easy on them. I do what I have pretty much always done. I cook, I clean, I do laundry, I grocery shop. I do all of the mom stuff. Since I don’t work outside of the home, I feel like it is my job to keep things looking good around the house.
My husband feels entirely differently. He feels that our big boys 17, 16, almost 15, and 12 are very capable of doing chores etc. around the house.
I know that they are capable. I know that they can do chores and they have several that they are each responsible for taking care of. They don’t always do the job to my expectations, of course, they are kids. We are working on it. My husband thinks that they grow more and more capable by making them step up and handle more responsibilities. He is right. I know down deep that these kids have to be able to take care of their laundry, be able to cook, and clean a dorm room or apartment, etc.
The hard thing for me is letting go of the stuff that I have always done. I always did the cooking. Now one child does the cooking each night.
I’ve always done the laundry. Now the kids are taking turns. They must wash, dry, fold, and have each child put their things away.
I’ve always cleaned the kitchen and started the dishwasher. Now the children do it.
It is a big relief to me mentally to know that I am teaching my kids how to manage on their own, but who is with me that it is hard to follow through with it. It is hard to see them running low on clean laundry (they don’t seem to mind), it is hard to stand there in the kitchen pointing out all of the stuff that needs to be cleaned up after dinner and not do it yourself. It is hard to see them struggle with something that I could do quickly and easily.
I have to keep my eye on the big picture. They will be moving on soon enough. I have to prepare them to the best of my ability to be successful with all things. Boys need to know these skills.
How about you, did you prepare your kids to be out in the real world? What are the critical skills that they should know?